Senate panel approves Hagel for Pentagon chief

Senate panel approves Hagel for Pentagon chief

Credit: Chip Somodevilla

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 31: Former U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee during his confirmation hearing to become the next secretary of defense on Capitol Hill January 31, 2013 in Washington, DC. President Barack Obama nominated Hagel, a controversial choice as Hagel opposed former President George W. Bush and his own party on the Iraq War and upset liberals with his criticism of a gay ambassador, for which he later apologized.

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by Associated Press

kvue.com

Posted on February 12, 2013 at 5:19 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 12 at 5:27 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A bitterly divided Senate panel has voted to approve the nomination of Chuck Hagel to be the nation's defense secretary.

The Armed Services Committee voted 14-11 to send the nomination to the full Senate. Tuesday's vote broke along party lines with all 14 Democrats backing President Barack Obama's choice.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is pushing for a full Senate vote by week's end, but some Republicans are threatening to filibuster the nomination.

Hagel, a former two-term Republican senator and Vietnam combat veteran, faces strong opposition from GOP senators. They have questioned whether he is sufficiently supportive of Israel and too tolerant of Iran.

Democrats have the votes to confirm Hagel on a majority vote. He would succeed Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

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