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Levin: Panel to vote on Hagel nomination

Feb. 11, 2013 at 2:34 PM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 11 (UPI) -- The Senate Armed Services Committee plans to vote Tuesday on the confirmation of former Sen. Chuck Hagel as defense secretary, the chairman said Monday.

Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., said the vote would move forward despite a threat Sunday by James Inhofe, R-Okla., the committee's top Republican, to hold up Hagel's confirmation, The Hill reported.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., also threatened to hold up Hagel's nomination.

A Democratic source told The Hill the committee vote Tuesday would allow Hagel's nomination to come to the floor as soon as Thursday, before the Senate's recess next week.

Inhofe, who has said he is voting against Hagel, R-Neb., has no plans to walk out on the committee vote, an aide told The Hill, after reports surfaced Sunday that GOP members were considering it.

However, on Fox News' "Fox News Sunday," Inhofe warned he would force a 60-vote majority on the Hagel confirmation on the floor.

Graham threatened to put a hold on both Hagel and John Brennan, Obama's CIA director nominee, until the White House reveals more information about the response to last year's terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in which Ambassador Chris Stephens and three other diplomatic employees died.

Levin had to delay a committee vote on Hagel's nomination last week after 25 Republicans sent Hagel a letter demanding more financial information about organizations with which he was affiliated.

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