Senators delay Hagel vote over Benghazi

February 14, 2013

WASHINGTON (AP) - Senate Republicans on Thursday blocked the nomination of former GOP senator Chuck Hagel as the nation's next defense secretary over unrelated questions about President Barack Obama's actions in the aftermath of the deadly raid on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Libya. Obama accused Republicans of playing politics with national security during wartime, and Democrats vowed to revive the nomination after Congress' weeklong break.

By 58-40, with one abstention, the Senate fell short of the 60-vote threshold required to advance Hagel's nomination to a final, up-or-down vote on his confirmation. Four Republicans voted with Democrats to end the debate and proceed to a final vote: Sens. Thad Cochran of Mississippi, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine and Mike Johanns of Nebraska.

Obama reacted immediately, hammering Republicans for an unprecedented filibuster of a nominee for defense secretary and insisting that Hagel - a former two-term Republican senator from Nebraska and twice-wounded Vietnam combat veteran - will eventually win confirmation. He would succeed Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who is stepping down after four years as CIA director and Pentagon chief.

"It's just unfortunate that this kind of politics intrudes at a time when I'm still presiding over a war in Afghanistan and I need a secretary of defense who is coordinating with our allies to make sure that our troops are getting the kind of strategy and mission that they deserve," the president said in an online chat sponsored by Google.

In the final minutes of the tally, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., switched his vote from "yes" to "no," a procedural move that allows him to revive the nomination after the break. He set another vote for Feb. 26.

"Just when you thought things couldn't get worse, it gets worse," the Democratic leader lamented of the chamber's bitter partisanship.

The successful Republican effort to block a vote on Hagel leaves one of the most contentious nominations of the Obama presidency in limbo, although Republicans signaled that they would relent and allow a simple majority vote on Hagel when they return from their recess.

FINISH

 

 


blog comments powered by Disqus

Jen Psaki: 'Let's hope the Kremlin will live by the promise of hashtag'

April 24, 2014  11:27 PM

"Are you high?"

Lizz Winstead taken in by nonexistent Rep. Steven Smith

April 24, 2014  10:35 PM

How could she not respond?

'Good luck with that': Oversight Committee asks Eric Holder for communications between IRS, DOJ

April 24, 2014  07:26 PM

Rep. Darrell Issa and the GOP House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform are asking Attorney General Eric Holder to produce all communications and documentation between the Justice Department and IRS official Lois Lerner, dating back to January 2009. The letter asks AG Holder to produce all docs/communications between/among Lois Lerner & employees of #DOJ from Jan '09 […]

'Blatant lies': Valerie Jarrett seconds claim that Eric Holder 'defends the rights of all Americans'

April 24, 2014  06:46 PM

Oh please.

'Open season on women': Mississippi bans abortions after 20 weeks

April 24, 2014  06:14 PM

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant on Wednesday signed legislation banning abortions beyond  20 weeks gestation. The bill takes effect July 1. “Medical research shows that an unborn child can feel pain by not later than 20 weeks gestation, and research also shows that the risk of death and complications from an abortion increases significantly as a pregnancy […]

FSM Archives

More in MUST READS ( 1 OF 25 ARTICLES )