Chuck Hagel

Reid challenges GOP to filibuster Hagel

by Jeremy Herb - The Hill  |  published on February 14, 2013


Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) challenged Republican senators Wednesday to launch a filibuster against President Obama’s nominee to lead the Pentagon, former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.).
Reid scolded Republicans for making the threat, and set up a vote to end debate on Hagel for Friday.

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

Republicans said they want to delay an up-or-down vote on Hagel in order to get information on who has compensated him for paid speeches. They also want to see some of Hagel’s speeches, which GOP Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) at a panel hearing on Tuesday said may have been given to “extreme or radical groups.”

A few senators are also using Hagel’s nomination to demand answers from the White House about last year’s Benghazi, Libya, attack.

It is unclear whether Republicans can maintain a filibuster against Hagel, who appears to have support from the 55 senators caucusing with Democrats.

Republican senators said they were confident they had 41 votes to block a vote on Hagel’s nomination this week, even though two Republicans, Sens. Mike Johanns (Neb.) and Thad Cochran (Miss.), are on record as supporting Hagel. Several other GOP senators have said they are opposed to filibustering a Cabinet nominee.

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