Senator Chuck Hagel, R-Nebraska
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska won't run for president in 2008 and will leave the Senate when his term ends in January 2009, a source close to the Nebraska Republican told CNN Saturday.
The source said Hagel - a vocal critic of the Bush administration - will hold a news conference in Omaha on Monday.
Hagel, 60, was a decorated infantry sergeant in Vietnam. He supported the 2002 congressional resolution that authorized the invasion of Iraq the following
year, but has become increasingly critical of the way the president has handled the war.
He called Bush's plan early this year to send thousands of additional U.S. troops to Iraq "the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since Vietnam."
Hagel was the only Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to back a measure condemning the decision to deploy an additional 30,000 troops in an effort to end the sectarian violence.
Despite his break with the party on Iraq, the North Platte native has an otherwise-orthodox GOP voting record.
He supported the Bush tax cuts in 2001, received a perfect score on abortion issues from the National Right to Life Committee and backed efforts to open part of Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil exploration.
Hagel, who was first elected in 1996, is latest Republican to announce he is voluntarily leaving the Senate.
On August 31, Sen. John Warner, R-Va., a foreign policy expert who also has criticized the administration's handling of Iraq, announced he would not seek a sixth term.
Warner, once secretary of the Navy, chaired the Armed Services Committee until Democrats seized both houses in the 2006 midterm election.
– CNN Capitol Hill Correspondent Dana Bash