WASHINGTON - Republican Senator John McCain on Sunday said his
former colleague Chuck Hagel was not qualified to be US defense secretary but
the Senate would likely vote on his nomination rather than hold it up with
Before going on a week-long recess, Republican
lawmakers succeeded in delaying a Senate vote on Hagel's nomination earlier this
month. Hagel is expected to win confirmation if a vote is held because Democrats
control 55 votes in the 100-seat Senate.
"I do not believe that Chuck
Hagel, who is a friend of mine, is qualified to be secretary of defense," McCain
of Arizona said on CNN's "State of the Union" show.
"I believe that when
the questions are answered, and I believe they will be by this coming week that
the president deserves an up or down vote" on Hagel, said McCain, who is a
member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Hagel's nomination was
likely to go for a vote in the Senate "barring some additional revelation," he
Hagel, a decorated Vietnam War veteran, angered Republicans when as
senator he broke from his party by opposing former President George W. Bush's
handling of the Iraq war.
Republicans are demanding more information from
the administration related to the attacks on US facilities in Benghazi, Libya,
The Senate confirmation vote on John Brennan for CIA director
also faces delay over the request by Republicans for more information related to
"I don't want to put a hold on anybody, but the American people
deserve answers about Benghazi. There are so many questions that are still out
there, including what was the president doing the night Benghazi happened?"