WASHINGTON – The nomination of Chuck Hagel as the next US secretary of defense
is slated to be put up for a vote on Tuesday.
The Senate Armed Services
Committee announced Monday that the vote would take place in the afternoon on
the following day, and committee chairman Sen. Carl Levin said that members
would have the opportunity to make comments before casting their
Should he be approved by the committee, Hagel would then have to
face the full Senate.
The scheduling of the vote on Hagel, a former
Republican senator from Nebraska, had been upheld amid Republican demands for
further information concerning the nominee and other defense-related
Several Republicans have indicated their intention to vote
against Hagel, but Democrats hold the majority and are expected to close ranks
and vote for US Barack Obama’s pick. However, a single senator could hold up the
process and even force a vote to end a filibuster – which would require 60
votes, which would mean some Republicans would have to break party lines to vote
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham has threatened a hold on
the nomination as part of a demand for further information about last year’s
terrorist attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, in which four American
personnel, including the ambassador, were killed.
The committee’s ranking
member, Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma, has also raised the possibility of a
He spelled out his objections on Fox News Sunday, referring
to Hagel’s controversial stances on issues pertaining to Iran and
“This is the type of thing you can’t accept,” he
“I’m going to do my best to see he’s not the secretary of
By setting a date in the near future, however, Democrats hope
Graham, Inhofe and other Hagel opponents will be pressured into backing
Reuters contributed to this report.