WASHINGTON, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama's nomination of Chuck Hagel for defense secretary was blocked Thursday in the Senate, after a vote failed to garner the 60 votes needed to end debate on the matter.
The vote was 50 to 40, falling short of the 60-vote supermajority. As members of Congress were set to leave for President's Day recess on Friday, the Senate would reschedule another vote when they come back late February.
Four Republicans, including Susan Collins of Maine, Thad Cochran of Mississippi, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Mike Johanns of Nebraska joined Democrats and Independents in support of the nomination.
Republicans have been calling for more time to consider the nomination, saying it was too early to clear Hagel's nomination, but they are open to an up-or-down vote after the Senate returns on Feb. 25.
Some GOP senators have used the nomination to leverage the White House into giving them more information on last year's attack on U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid scheduled the vote Thursday after failing to secure enough Republican support for the nomination. Media reports indicated that Democrats were trying to cast Republicans as obstructionists with the doomed vote.
Earlier Thursday, Reid scolded Republicans for holding up the nomination, saying it was the first filibuster of a defense nominee in history. Republicans bristled at the notion, saying Hagel will almost surely be confirmed after the recess.
WASHINGTON, Feb. 12 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Senate panel on Tuesday afternoon approved the nomination of former Senator Chuck Hagel, U. S. President Barack Obama's pick as next Defense Secretary, sending it to the full Senate vote.
The Senate Armed Services Committee voted 14 to 11 after a lengthy meeting to approve Hagel's nomination to succeed retiring Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. The panel's Democrats backed Obama 's choice of next Pentagon Chief while Republicans remained opposed to the two-term Republican Senator from Nebraska.Full story
WASHINGTON, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- Former U.S. secretary of state Collin Powell on Sunday voiced strong support for former senator Chuck Hagel, President Barack Obama's pick for next Secretary of Defense, and expected him to win the Senate's confirmation despite some ongoing controversy.
"I think he will do a great job as Secretary of Defense," Powell said on NBC's "Meet the Press," expressing his belief that Hagel will finally get confirmed by Congress.Full story