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.
Obama will pull nomination of Hagel and select Ashton Carter if cloture fails......administration sources
Obama will pull nomination of Hagel and select Ashton Carter
Do we need any more evidence the Senate is broken? More specifically – the Senate is broken because the Republicans do not want to participate in democracy. They are trashing our government and the people are the ones who will suffer. If nothing else we can see the urgency in ridding America of this fascist extremism in the 2014 and 2016 elections.
These lying GOPer said they would not filibuster. Now they are. GOP liars
Once again (of far, far too many times), Republicans are the party of NO. Hagel's only past "sin" is saying things the conservative war hawks didn't like. I find it utterly ridiculous that a Senator can stop action simply by holding the podium with filibuster; and he or she can do that simply by, say, reading the Bible aloud. It's actually childishly spiteful: "If I can't have my way, nobody can have their's.
These senators want to know what everyone else were doing during the Benghazi attack. I want to know what McCain was doing during attacks. McCain has military experience. Did he suggest to Prsident or Ms Clinton to increase security during this time frame? If you did not, why didn't you? Answer yes or No. Did you recommend additional security? These guys get more disgusting with each news cycle.
The media is trying to corrupt public opinion against him. That's the ONLY reason this article was written.
I do not know what the GOP wants from this govt! where were these questions regarding WMD lie during W's SOD's confirmation for his 2nd term. Mccain keep saying he wants answer, what is his questions? he has questioned Outgoing and Incoming SOS and SOD but what does he still want. He is a bitter old man that should not be making laws for this country.
The political wind has shifted.
The GOP needs to sniff the breeze, they'll catch a whiff of the tar pots being heated- and see the feathers in the sky.
It's absolutely a disgrace what the Republicans are doing. Chuck Hagel is a good man and a loyal member of the party. I can't believe they're treating him like that.
Hagel its look like your the problem.
Republicans know no shame, they will easily filibuster the nomination, even if it is used for the first time in history for a nomination. There is little decency left in the GOP, what a sad party it has become.
If Hagel is not voted in as Secretary of Defense, then the next time the shoe is on the other foot and the Democrats are called on to vote in a Republican Secetary of Defense, the Dems should just say NO.
The angry old man who lost his bid to be president is still venting.
Hagel is doomed. His performance before the Armed Service Committee sealed his fate. Hagel's natural personality just doesn't lend itself to the necessary ass kissing required.
I thought Republicans wanted to project a new image. I thought John McCain was in full support of Hagel. Republicans have not changed one bit. The filibuster is yet again being used to block all votes, all debate, all legislation, all progress, and EVERYTHING that would help the American People with jobs, economic recovery, housing recovery, education, job training, and ending poverty (even though the states who use the most Federal funds for welfare are Republican-led and have been for years). Is there anything the Republican Party won't obstruct to hurt our nation???
The filibuster has been overused by both parties this past decade. They are not even filibusters anymore. Dem leadership failed to change the rules to require actual debate on the floor. At the very least a rule should be passed that requires an up or down vote on confirmations after say 45 days from when the President announces a nomination. As bad as leaving the DOD secretary absence is, the filibuster game has created problems with the courts. There are not enough judges to hear hearings and appeals, and as a result it takes forever for anything to get done.
The republican party continue to be the party of nor for an answer that Hagel has no responsibility for or knowledge of the benghazi question. there has been a full blown senate investigation and Blackmail which is what this is, is very unbecoming and against all tradition of both parties QED especially Mc cain say one thing and then do another, just like most GOP these days.
Right now I do not trust any GOP member House or Senate further than I could throw a ton of bricks.
McCain never questioned when Bush took us to war on information made up by his VP and others. I am so sick of McCain and his whining after he lost the election.
To deny any President his choice of cabinet members for any reason other than a nominee's personal scandal or questionable loyalty to the U.S. is nothing less than unconscionable. As for Benghazi, the American people spoke to that question when, by a majority, they re-elected the President.
Those Republican senators who would support this filibuster need to realize there are limits to even legitimate opposition.
Unless there is something to hide just answer the question for heaven's, or if you are a liberal, for science's sake.
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Reid, you had a chance to change the rules and you did not. You are just as much to blame as the repugs. You need to be replaced as the leader and removed from the senate.
The republican party is acting shamelessly ,with total disregard for the best interests of our nation and it's people. Personal animosity and vengeance rule their behavior. The cover of national interest has long since been removed. These senators are undeserving of their high office. It's a shame!!
Hagel's not qualified..Period !