Outcome of Hagel filibuster vote uncertain
February 13th, 2013
08:10 PM ET
10 months ago

Outcome of Hagel filibuster vote uncertain

Washington (CNN) - Chuck Hagel’s bid to lead the Pentagon faces an uncertain outcome on a critical vote Friday as Democrats attempt to break a GOP filibuster of the defense secretary nominee.

Despite optimism from administration officials, who believe Hagel will get the five GOP votes he needs to end the filibuster, senior congressional sources in both parties are less positive. They told CNN they now are not sure he will get the votes.

Doubts were raised Wednesday after Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, said he was reconsidering his pledge not to filibuster Hagel because the Obama administration was refusing to provide key details about the president’s actions on the night of the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.

McCain’s vote is important because he is one of the leading Republicans on military matters and other senators are expected to follow his lead. But he was also one of just five GOP senators who publically announced they would not filibuster Hagel. If he supports the filibuster, it could be impossible for Hagel to get 60 votes.

“I’ve always said I just want an answer to the question,” McCain explained. “We deserve answers before we move forward with nominees. That’s been the standard I’ve pursued for the past 26 years.”

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Michigan, said he expects the administration will provide a response to the Benghazi question before Friday’s vote.

Filibusters of cabinet officials are extremely rare, largely because senators typically believe a president has a right to pick the leaders of his government.

“This is the first time in the history of our country that a presidential nominee for secretary of defense has been filibustered,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said. “What a shame.”

The administration isn't budging, and an official insisted to CNN Hagel won't withdraw his nomination.


Filed under: Chuck Hagel • Senate
soundoff (132 Responses)
  1. Jerubbaal

    If the American voters do not relegate the extremist GOP to an also ran status, we have nobody but ourselves to blame for the hardships and decline that we willl face.

    February 13, 2013 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  2. roro

    The Republican obstructionists are a national disgrace. I just read that for the first time in our history, a president's pick for Secretary of Defense will be filibustered. Is there anyone or anything that Obama wants that the shameful Republicans won't try to block? From judicial appointments to choices for the cabinet, from Susan Rice to Chuck Hagel, what the H*() are they doing? YOU LOST THE ELECTION BY A GOOD SIZED MARGIN. Get over yourselves, and do what's right for this country and not for your reelection. SHAME ON ALL REPUBLICANS. And congratulations to Sen. Kerry for being the one person to avoid this contentious circus.

    February 13, 2013 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  3. me

    what a shame they won't et the American people know what was reallyy gooing on in bengazi

    February 13, 2013 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  4. Marty, FL

    Extremely rare? Try NEVER happened before in our US history. Shameful behavior.

    And McCain promoted Hagel for the exact same position when he ran for president. Credibility?

    February 13, 2013 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  5. Fierce Badger

    another sad example of the GOP. never an answer, always an obstruction. Other than the few people who cares about John McCain.

    February 13, 2013 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  6. Whats the story

    According to Rush and Shawn, it is the job of congress to advise and consent on the Presidents nominees.
    Maybe that's only for republican nominees...

    February 13, 2013 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  7. wwf

    The entire GOP can take a long wallk off of a short dock.

    February 13, 2013 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  8. cbr

    This filibuster would be counterproductive. This Congress will bring notoriety to itself as it becomes another group which cannot do the nation's business. Certainly the filibuster will be remembered at election time as will the waste of time and money during this filibuster. Again, out leaders will be doing nothing for days on end. Is this really fair to the American people? Is this a worthy use of a member's time?

    It is time for an up or down vote. let us see how you vote and move on. Sen. McCain. Paul, McCain and others must take responsibility for the waste of money this will cause. They also must tell us why they will not honor the president's choice. They are agian becoming the parto of NO.

    February 13, 2013 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  9. reyesanfrancisco

    The modern day Republican Party is a disgrace to this country.

    February 13, 2013 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  10. reyesanfrancisco

    The Republican Party shames America once again.

    February 13, 2013 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  11. Frank T

    Now I know why I never wanted to live in the State Of Texas. When the Texans people elected the OLD all White Senator Cruz to the Senate a few months ago. You wonder how this Anti American could ever get elected.He is not only an OLD White Racists, Hypocrite,Bigot,and a Blatent Draft Dogger, When he slandered a Patriot all American for Senator in Chuck Hagel,he crossed the Line.How could any body in their right mind slander a VIET NAM Vetran who served his country with great patriotism.He was nothing but a no good son of a bumer who has no place representing Americans. The fine people of Texas must wake up and get rid of these parasites

    February 13, 2013 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  12. John Mann

    Mr Reid,

    Now that the GOP fillbustered this, don't act surprised. Just ask why you didn't end the filibuster when you had a chance in January. Thanks for caving.

    February 13, 2013 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  13. john

    Doesn't this all just confirm the assertion that the pro-Israel lobby group intimidates the GOP. Amazing.

    February 13, 2013 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  14. Hawk in Texas

    What else would you expect from a bunch of racist sore losers. they will destroy america just to get back at Obama. tell mccain to let them un freeze his military papers so america can see what a coward and traitor he was and is, his name was songbird. he told the enemy all they wanted to know and if his daddy and uncle haden't of been admirals he would not be where he is today.

    February 13, 2013 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  15. Len

    You have gotten answers.....the HOP old white man

    February 13, 2013 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  16. DocHollywood

    The republican party just keeps decending into depths of degradation. Democrats should have abolished outright the fillibuster when they had the chance. It is ridiculous to see a minority party act like children because they cannot have their way with things. They have started a string of events over the last 5 years that will end up costing them and the American people for decades to come. I do not think the republican party has any relevancy anymore.

    February 13, 2013 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  17. p j. vincent

    Senator Hagel is the only politicsion that is 100per cent AMERICAN

    February 13, 2013 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  18. Jim

    As an Independent who voted for Obama twice, it is time for the administration and nominee to cut their losses and have him announce he is withdrawing his name from consideration. At this time of ongoing conflict, with the potential for more, and with serious cuts contemplated for Defense even absent sequester, the DoD needs and deserves a leader who is respected by and can work with a significant majority of both houses. For whatefer reasons, it is now clear to me that Chuck Hagel is not that person.

    February 13, 2013 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  19. bear

    eSen McCain is reconsidering the same as Flip Flopping or did the Tea Party get to you.

    February 13, 2013 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  20. JOYCE WILLIAMS

    I am sick and tired of John Mccain and his stuck on Benghazi he really need to get over it what is it to him what the POTUS was doing. He was not that concerned about why we ended up in Iraq.

    February 13, 2013 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  21. Raffy

    For God's sake Pres. Obama please give an exact account of what the administration knows & did before, during & after the attack at our U.S. Consolate at Benghazi, Libya. Why is it so hard to explain? Why are the killers still not apprehended? Our perception is that your administration is hiding something or you are just not interested to resolve this matter.

    February 13, 2013 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  22. Mary

    It is not the President's government, it is OUR goverment. Congress is doing what they were elected to do:represent the people.

    February 13, 2013 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  23. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Really? This is unnecessary to do this because you had your chances to object. Say it on the floor of the Senate during debate and don't obstruct the process.

    February 13, 2013 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  24. Bonnie C

    absolutely. He's fully qualified for the job. There's no reason not to.

    February 13, 2013 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  25. Ed1

    Time for Obama to pick someone else.

    February 13, 2013 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
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