Delay unlikely to affect final vote on Hagel as Defense secretary
WASHINGTON — Chuck Hagel's nomination to be the next Defense secretary remains on track despite Republican demands for additional information about his paid speeches and business dealings, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee said on Thursday.
The GOP requests dealt a setback to President Obama's pick, forcing the committee to announce late Wednesday it would postpone a vote on the nomination. A date has not been set.
Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the committee, said the additional requests were extraordinary and that Hagel had complied with the panel. He said he would move ahead with a vote as soon as possible.
“We can't not vote because there's dissatisfaction. That would be endless,” Levin told reporters. “We're going to schedule a vote.”
Levin said he was confident the Senate would confirm Hagel, pointing out that none of the Senate's 55 Democrats oppose the nominee, that two Republicans have announced their support and that several other GOP senators have said they would not back a filibuster.
Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said she would support Hagel's nomination after meeting with him Thursday.
“His confirmation is very much on track to me,” Levin said.
The White House said Hagel has given lawmakers exhaustive information but will continue to disclose more to the Senate panel considering his nomination.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said Hagel has turned over all available speech transcripts but that some of his speeches were never transcribed. He said it's vital that the Pentagon position be filled and urged the Senate to approve Hagel quickly.
Republicans had complained in a letter that Hagel didn't sufficiently answer questions, including details on all compensation of more than $5,000 that he had received over the past five years. They also pressed him on his recent speeches, which groups he has addressed and on donors to those groups.
“The committee, and the American people, have a right to know if a nominee for secretary of Defense has received compensation, directly or indirectly, from foreign sources,” Senate Republicans wrote. “Until the committee receives full and complete answers, it cannot in good faith determine whether you should be confirmed as secretary of Defense.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Hawaii confronts dengue fever cases
- U.S. has urged legal reforms abroad to block Islamic State recruits
- Kentucky Gov. Beshear restores right to vote for thousands of nonviolent felons
- Prescription skin drug costs skyrocket
- Foreign policy expert: Obama administration should create Syria safe areas
- Self-driving vehicles closer to getting green light as feds ease stance
- Video of white Chicago patrolman fatally firing on fleeing black youth sparks demonstrations