Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, revealed on Wednesday that he will not only vote against the nomination of Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense but also actively work to defeat the nomination.
Inhofe said his opposition to Hagel has been growing, and he bluntly confirmed his active participation in defeating the nomination, saying, “I will do what I can to see that it fails.”
When asked whether his opposition would include filibustering the nomination, Inhofe declined to comment.
Hagel’s refusal to turn over documents dealing with his connections to foreign sources has opened eyes in the Senate. The Senate Armed Services Committee has requested the release of those documents, but Hagel has stonewalled the process.
The vote to confirm Hagel was supposed to occur Thursday, but now Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin is delaying the vote. He said, “The committee’s vote on Senator Hagel’s nomination has not been scheduled. I had hoped to hold a vote on the nomination this week, but the committee’s review of the nomination is not yet complete. I intend to schedule a vote on the nomination as soon as possible.”
Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) articulated the GOP’s anger at Hagel’s refusal to come clean: “So far, Sen. Hagel has refused to provide the information requested by the committee and I think that’s the chief obstacle right now. I don’t know any justification for his refusal to comply with reasonable information requests.”