- Pregnancies decline overall, up among older women
- Pentagon plans to destroy Syrian chemical arms on ship at sea
- Paris Metro issues ‘politeness manual’ to improve passengers’ behavior
- Justin Bieber, crew detained at Australian airport in drug search
- Lee Rigby trial: Muslim who machete-hacked soldier calls it ‘humane’ kill
- GM ending Chevy sales in Europe to focus on Opel and Vauxhall
- Putin’s diplomats to U.S. busted for living high life off $1.5M bilked from Medicaid
- Happy Meal: Couple goes to McDonald’s, leaves with bag packed with cash
- Boehner: It took me 3 to 4 hours to sign up for Obamacare
- Oh my God! Costco lists Bible as fiction, Ron Burgundy memoir as gospel
Senate panel sets vote on defense pick Hagel
Move to the floor to follow despite threat of filibuster
Democrats on Monday said they will press ahead with Chuck Hagel’s nomination to be the next secretary of defense, daring Republicans to try to derail his nomination over charges that neither he nor the Obama administration have disclosed enough information.
The Armed Services Committee will vote Tuesday, and Majority Leader Harry Reid said he will schedule a full Senate vote for later this week so the chamber acts before it heads home for a weeklong vacation. Mr. Reid predicted Mr. Hagel, a former Republican senator from Nebraska whom President Obama has tapped to be the top civilian at the Pentagon, will survive GOP efforts to block him.
“There’s never in the history of the country ever been a filibuster on a defense secretary nominee, and I’m certain there won’t be on this one,” he said.
The GOP cleared the way for Tuesday’s committee vote after deciding against walking out of the committee meeting.
Sen. John McCain, a senior Republican on the panel, said that while he is not a fan of Mr. Hagel‘s, the committee has given him a fair hearing and has properly vetted his nomination, so there’s no reason to block it from voting.
“I believe that he has fulfilled the rigorous requirements that the committee demands of every presidential nominee to be secretary of defense,” the Arizona Republican said. “As a result, I believe it is appropriate for the Armed Services Committee to vote on Sen. Hagel’s nomination and determine whether to move this nomination to the Senate floor.”
Some Republicans oppose Mr. Hagel because of his past statements on Iran and Israel, which he has since tried to explain or apologize for. And they are seeking more records of Mr. Hagel’s clients in the four years since he left the Senate.
Others — particularly, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina — say they want more information from the administration about the chain of events involved in last year’s attack on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, and are prepared to slow-walk both Mr. Hagel and the nomination of John O. Brennan to be director of the CIA.
“I don’t think we should allow Brennan to go forward for the CIA directorship, Hagel to be confirmed for secretary of defense until the White House gives us an accounting,” Mr. Graham said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” program this weekend.
The White House fired back on Monday.
“We have answered these questions,” said White House press secretary Jay Carney. “The president found out about the attack in Benghazi in a meeting with his secretary of defense and chairman of the Joint Chiefs from his national security adviser. He immediately ordered those two leaders to take every action necessary to try to position forces in a way that could assist in Benghazi and also potentially take action, if necessary, elsewhere, because of all that was unfolding around the region.”
He added that Mr. Obama was “regularly updated and kept apprised of events in Benghazi and in the region throughout that evening and into the night.”
Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta told lawmakers last week that he informed Mr. Obama of the attack in Libya at a routine afternoon meeting, but neither he nor the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff talked with Mr. Obama for the rest of the evening, as the two-prong attack unfolded.
Mr. Hagel, who served in the Vietnam War, is seeking to become the first former enlisted man to reach the secretary’s post. Mr. Obama tapped Mr. Hagel to be an independent voice at the Pentagon — though in his confirmation hearing, he said he found no areas of disagreement with the administration’s policies.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Dave Boyer is a White House correspondent for The Washington Times. A native of Allentown, Pa., Boyer worked for the Philadelphia Inquirer from 2002 to 2011 and also has covered Congress for the Times. He is a graduate of Penn State University. Boyer can be reached at email@example.com.
- Biden leaves with no concessions from China, heads next to South Korea
- Biden in Beijing: From diplomat to tourist on taxpayer dime
- Susan Rice slams Russia, China on human rights
- Joe Biden meets Xi Jinping in China to try to defuse tensions on air defense zone
- Bill Clinton: Damage to Democrats over Obamacare rollout failure will be 'minimal'
Latest Blog Entries
Stephen Dinan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Bipartisan House votes to stop patent 'trolls'
- Medal of Honor case goes to 3rd defense secretary; Rep. Duncan Hunter says system broken
- John Boehner says blame for slow Congress lies with Democrats
- Hola: Boehner prepares to push amnesty bill through House
- Adios muchacho: Christie threatens veto of NJ's Dream Act
Latest Blog Entries
- 'Hunger Games' delivers Obama's message on income inequality: liberal group
- CARSON: Getting to the top by starting at the bottom
- Hack attack: 2 million Facebook, Twitter passwords stolen
- Obama returns to class warfare as poll numbers plunge
- Russian diplomats busted bilking $1.5 million from Medicaid
- NAPOLITANO: Pope Francis should be saving souls, not pocketbooks
- CURL: 'Mission Accomplished' for Obamacare
- Democratic infighting erupts over 'we can have it all' fantasy on entitlements
- Inside China: Nuclear submarines capable of widespread attack on U.S.
- President Obama acknowledges living with illegal immigrant uncle: report
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
NFL junkie Eric Golub reports on his favorite obsession. There is no football offseason. Every February he pretends to care about other sports while sobbing uncontrollably each Sunday until September.
All of the world’s problems, solved on your back porch
Brazen, leading-edge, “call it like it is” columns and reporting from Ohio native, radio host and writer, Sara Marie Brenner.
Entertainment News and Reviews from Washington, D.C. and beyond.
White House pets gone wild!