“For Hagel, a rocky – but probable – path to Pentagon” – HEARING TODAY 2

CBS NEWS

Senate Democrats signal readiness

to confirm him as defense secretary,

but Republicans gearing up for fight

Chuck Hagel - Caricature

Chuck Hagel – Caricature (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

Topping off a week rife with White House entrances and exits, former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., heads to the Senate Armed Services Committee this morning for his confirmation hearing to become President Obama’s new defense secretary. But the former Republican senator is not expected to get the kind of friendly reception his former colleague, soon-to-be Secretary of State John Kerry, received earlier this week; Hagel, though widely expected to squeak through the confirmation process, may have to put up a fight.

 His nomination, which Mr. Obama announced earlier this month, has been controversial from the get-go: Even before the decision was official, a handful of Republicans were threatening to pitch a fight over it, denouncing the former senator’s positions on Israel and Iran and in some cases pledging immediately to vote against him. Outside advocacy groups were also swift to get involved, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on television ads aimed at torpedoing Hagel’s chances.

 “I will not support Chuck Hagel’s nomination,” said Sen. John Cornyn, R-Tex., a member of the Armed Services Committee, in a statement released prior to the official announcement. “His record and past statements, particularly with respect to rogue nations like Iran, are extremely concerning to me.”  FULL  ARTICLE

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