The Senate Armed Services Committee has delayed its vote on whether to recommend former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) to the Senate for confirmation as Secretary of Defense. No new date for the vote has yet been given.
Rumors of a postponement had been circulating all day. Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), who chairs the committee and had previously indicated that a vote could take place Thursday, told Politico’s Manu Raju this afternoon, “The committee’s review of the nomination is not yet complete.”
The committee is still awaiting answers from Hagel regarding past speeches that he failed to turn over to the committee, as well as financial information about foreign contributions to organizations in which he has participated over the last several years. Hagel failed to comply with a 5 p.m. Monday deadline.
Breitbart News Editor-in-Chief Joel B. Pollak reported today that audio of a 2007 speech–just outside the five-year timeframe of the committee’s request–recently surfaced. Hagel, speaking to a conference of the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations, said that the U.S. needed to “reverse optics” in its relationship with Israel.
Hagel also said: “You don’t have to give up liberty for security. Don’t ever give up liberty for security.” That position may not sit well with the Obama administration’s policy on using drones to kill American citizens who have taken up arms against the United States as enemy combatants, without judicial review or due process.
Update: The Washington Free Beacon notes that new committee member Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) took the lead in demanding postponement, circulating a letter that garnered over two dozen signatures from fellow Senators.