Committee to vote on Hagel Tuesday
February 11th, 2013
12:45 PM ET
9 years ago

Committee to vote on Hagel Tuesday

(CNN) - The Senate Armed Services Committee will hold a vote on the nomination of former Sen. Chuck Hagel for defense secretary at 230 p.m. ET Tuesday, the office of Chairman Carl Levin announced Monday.

While Hagel went through his confirmation hearings on January 31, Levin put off the vote after more than two dozen Republicans pressed Hagel to provide additional financial information about corporations and other organizations he's been associated with since leaving Congress.

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However, last Thursday Levin said he would no longer postpone the vote and would try to schedule it as soon as possible, despite some GOP opposition.

"We can't not vote because there is dissatisfaction on the part of people because that could be endless," said Levin, D-Michigan.

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican, made headlines Sunday when he vowed to block Hagel's nomination in the Senate unless the Obama administration provides more information about the Benghazi, Libya attack.

Hagel, however, is all but certain to be confirmed. CNN learned last week there were at least five Republican senators who would oppose a filibuster, essentially ensuring the embattled nominee will be approved in the coming days.

If a filibuster were launched, it would take 60 votes to cut it off. There are 53 Democrats in the Senate plus two independents who regularly vote with them. So the additional five Republicans would provide the votes needed to break a filibuster.

"There's a whole lot of hype and drama, but if he has 60 votes, he has 60 votes. And he probably does," a senior GOP Senate aide told CNN on Monday.

As for the process, all nominations are on the executive calendar, which means that "you can't keep it from coming up on the floor," the aide added. It requires a simple majority vote, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has those votes.

In addition, the source points out, a "hold"–such as the threat made my Graham–means that the nomination can't be passed by unanimous consent or voice vote, the aide said. Then, once it's on the floor, Reid would file for cloture. If he files on Wednesday, for instance, the vote could be Friday.

Since a handful of Republicans have said they will not support a filibuster, it's clear Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is not engaging as if one were to occur.

Still Hagel will likely emerge from the process as a "diminished" figure to a certain degree, the GOP aide argued, a challenge that may create conflict inside the Pentagon.

- CNN Congressional Producer Rachel Streitfeld contributed to this report.

Filed under: Chuck Hagel • Department of Defense • Senate
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. freedom

    Yes, any embassy attack is tragic – but Bush was in contact with his joint chiefs of staff during attacks. This president – NO.

    February 11, 2013 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    freedom wrote:

    @Rudy NYC @ Al-NY
    The recent hearings with Hilary Clinton and Panetta revealed that the president was not in contact with these key individuals during or after the attack. This is factual – just look it up and read about it. It's not a secret where the president was – he didn't care enough to even call the Secretary of State or Secretary of Defense during or after the attack. .... ....
    So what. Maybe somebody had indigestion. Who knows and who cares.

    As has already been pointed out to you, the attack in Libya was just one of many US embassy attacks and demonstrations that particular day. Whatever each was doing is irrelevant and classified. What's significant is what actions they took after they were told of it whenever and whatever that may have been.

    February 11, 2013 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  3. Marie MD

    Does this mean that ms lindsay finally gave it up? I am utterly amazed of how this "guy" continues to get elected. I take it that the senile old man from AZ gave him the orders to continue because he is so busy going against wary thing else by himself?

    February 11, 2013 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  4. Larry L

    South Carolina needs to recall Lindsey Graham so they can return to relevance in America. For now, it's just another red state controlled by bigoted, hateful right-wing extremists. The day you fire him he'll get a job at Fox News.

    February 11, 2013 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    Sniffit wrote:

    I guarantee you that's partly why he requested it. They have no choice but to say "no" tot he request, so he views it as a win-win: (1) he "wins" by making accusations that cannot be disproven and (TWO) he "wins" by manufacturing a situation in which the "proof" that his accusations are correct is the fact that "they're hiding something."
    Partly my eye, that's exactly why.

    February 11, 2013 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  6. Rudy NYC

    freedom wrote:

    Yes, any embassy attack is tragic – but Bush was in contact with his joint chiefs of staff during attacks. This president – NO.
    You don't know what Pres. Obama was doing and neither do your conspiracy theorists. Besides, aren't you listening to what you're saying here. You're saying Bush was in contact with is staffs, and despite that more people died. What does that say for Bush?

    February 11, 2013 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  7. Name lynn

    What, thats the wrong words from levin who do they think they are. These people with a lil authority calling shots on other people. The gop is stupid an levin is a crazy one eyed owl.

    February 11, 2013 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  8. freedom

    Does it really matter that it was the 13th? That makes it ok? How could he have gone to a podium and receive applause, when just hours before these servicemen were tortured and murdered – and he's Commander-in Chief?!? And the only order he gave was to Hilary Clinton and Susan Rice to tell lies! Your standards are very low for what you expect in a president – along with the majority of this country. It's sickening.

    February 11, 2013 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  9. Len

    Reelection in 2014.... Has to appeal to the neocons in his State...

    February 11, 2013 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  10. freedom

    @Rudy NYC
    "What's significant is what actions they took after they were told of it whenever and whatever that may have been."
    Bingo – that's exactly what's so devastating about this tragedy. Ambassador Stevens had requested help, and the president didn't give the order to send help – only he can do that as commander-in-chief. In addition, he didn't communicate at all with the defense and state departments during or after the attacks. That is unbelievable.

    February 11, 2013 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
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