(WASHINGTON) — Chuck Hagel’s nomination to be the next secretary of defense has been sent to the full Senate, following a 14-to-11 committee vote that split along partisan lines. Tuesday’s vote by the Senate Armed Services Committee reflects how unpopular Hagel’s nomination has been among his former Republican Senate colleagues.
Two hours of debate prior to the vote were indicative of the partisan divide over his nomination. Republicans assailed his Senate voting record and his qualifications for the job; some Democrats expressed lukewarm support and defended his character.
Senate majority leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Tuesday he hopes to move the Hagel nomination to the full Senate sometime this week. He said that he will not honor any holds placed on Hagel’s nomination.
Meanwhile, Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said that while a number of Republican members of the Armed Services Committee have concerns about Hagel, he did not know if this was the view of everyone in the Republican caucus.
McConnell said he “wouldn’t be surprised” if there is a cloture vote on Hagel when his nomination goes before the full Senate. A cloture vote requires 60 votes to end debate on the Senate floor.
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