Because former Senator Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) is on record supporting an 80% reduction in the U.S. nuclear arsenal, Senators “with home state nuclear bases or membership on the Senate Armed Services Committee” are increasingly uneasy about supporting him for Sec. of Defense.
These Sens. include John Barasso (R-Wyo), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), David Vitter (R-La.), and James Inhofe (R-Okl.), and John Hoeven (R-N.D.).
Inhofe says there are “serious concerns” not simply over Hagel’s record but also “some of his comments that have been publicly reported.”
Hoeven went a bit further:
As a senator from a state that has two legs of the nuclear triad, I am particularly concerned about Senator Hagel’s support for additional, major reductions in U.S. nuclear forces, which I believe puts the United States at a severe disadvantage in a still-dangerous global military environment.