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For first time in U.S. history, Republicans filibuster defense secretary nominee

By Agence France-Presse
Wednesday, February 13, 2013 20:27 EDT
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Chuck Hagel at Senate confirmation hearing (Screengrab)
 
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Republicans demanding answers from President Barack Obama’s pick to head the Pentagon forced Senate leaders Wednesday to delay a vote, throwing Chuck Hagel’s confirmation into doubt.

Senators James Inhofe and Lindsey Graham have expressed strong opposition to rushing Hagel’s confirmation process, and after Hagel was narrowly approved by the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday, the Republicans insisted they would try to block a vote in the full Senate.

“This is the first time in the history of our country that a presidential nominee for secretary of defense has been filibustered. What a shame,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said on the floor of the chamber.

To overcome the blocking tactic, Reid scheduled a vote on Friday to end debate on the Hagel nomination, but such a procedure requires a 60-vote threshold rather than the typical simple majority.

Democrats hold a 55-45 edge in the Senate. No Democrats are expected to vote against Hagel, a Vietnam War veteran and Republican former senator himself, while just two Republicans have publicly stated their support.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
AFP journalists cover wars, conflicts, politics, science, health, the environment, technology, fashion, entertainment, the offbeat, sports and a whole lot more in text, photographs, video, graphics and online.
 
 
 
 
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