GOP Resists Senate ‘Jamming’ Vote on Hagel
(WASHINGTON) — After Chuck Hagel’s nomination to be the next defense secretary moved out of committee along a strict party-line vote Tuesday, Senate Democratic majority leader Harry Reid intended to have a full vote in the Senate on final confirmation.
But that likely will not happen Wednesday. Republicans in the Senate are demanding more information on the terrorist attack in Benghazi before they will allow a final confirmation vote for Hagel and made clear again Wednesday that they have no intention of backing down.
Senator Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., on Wednesday chastised the Senate Democratic leader for “jamming” the nomination through the Senate.
“You better believe I am not going to let this go….the debate on Chuck Hagel is not over,” Graham said at a press conference on Capitol Hill. “We don’t have the information we need and I am going to fight the idea of jamming somebody though until we get answer about what the president did personally pertaining to the Benghazi debacle.”
Graham has been one of the most prominent Republicans leading the charge to extract more information from the administration over the terrorist attack at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi on September 11. He wants to know what exactly President Obama did during the eight hours the U.S. mission was under attack.
Graham has said that until he gets the answer to this question he will use every procedural tool available to him in the Senate to delay confirmation of Hagel, a former GOP senator.
Graham harkened back to the days of Congressional oversight during the Bush administration and said if the shoe was on the other foot and this was a Republican president he’d “guaran-damn-tee ya there’d be a lot of Democrats doing a lot more than I’m doing.”
But the senator says the delay in the Hagel vote is not all about Benghazi.
“I don’t think I’m being unfair to the process by saying slow down, I want to find out more about Hagel, that there are two speeches he gave that are not on his disclosure form – I want to see and hear about those speeches if they exist,” Graham said.
The Senate is running out of time to hold a vote on Hagel before they are due to take a week-long recess for the President’s Day holiday. A Senate aide tells ABC News the most likely scenario is that Reid, D-Nev., will file cloture on the nomination tonight, setting up a Friday confirmation vote.
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