Hagel Nomination Blocked
Senate Republicans delayed a vote on Chuck Hagel’s nomination as defense secretary on Thursday by mounting a filibuster causing the cloture to fall one vote shy of being successful. The cloture vote needed 60 votes to move on to Hagel’s nomination. Republicans wanted more answers from the White House on the Benghazi attack before Hagel’s and John Brennan’s nomination goes forward.
“Senators have questions that they want answered,” Senator Lamar Alexander (R – TN) told reporters . He added, “Now, after the recess, I think, would be sufficient time to give senators the chance to consider their questions and I would vote for cloture because I believe Cabinet members deserve an up-or-down vote,”
Senator Lindsey Graham (R- S.C.) agreed saying, “After the break, we can have a cloture vote, and I feel pretty comfortable I’d vote to move on — unless there’s some bombshell.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D – NV) excoriated Republican members for blocking the Hagel. “Just when you thought things couldn’t get worse, it gets worse,” he said. Reid originally supported Hagel, but as a matter of procedure, he needed to switch his vote to “no” on the cloture measure in order to file for another cloture vote.
“I guess to be able to run for the Senate as a Republican in most places of the country, you need to have a résumé that says, ‘I helped filibuster one of the president’s nominees,’” Reid said.
Senator John McCain (R – AZ) told reporters that he would vote “in favor of cloture” when the Senate returns .
“I believe… enough of my colleagues would do the same,” Sen. John McCain (R – AZ) told reporters on Thursday, adding, “Ask [Democrats] why they held up [former secretary of Defense nominee] John Tower for three months. So please don’t give that argument that [Republicans] are holding things up.” George H.W. Bush nominated John Tower in 1989. The Senate, however, rejected Tower.