Hagel to face US Senate confirmation hearing on Jan 31

WASHINGTON - Chuck Hagel, President Barack Obama's nominee to become the next US defense secretary, will face his Senate confirmation hearing on Jan. 31, the Senate Armed Services Committee said in a statement on Wednesday.
The announcement comes a day after Hagel's nomination won a critical boost when two leading Senate Democrats voiced their support for him and said his private assurances had eased their concerns over his positions on Israel, Iran and other issues.