Chuck Hagel Confirmation No Sure Thing: Hill Insiders
Reid looks to head off filibuster threat
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Feb 14, 2013 3:03 AM CST
In this Jan. 31, 2013 file photo, former Nebraska Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

(Newser) – The Obama administration has voiced confidence that Chuck Hagel will be confirmed as defense secretary, but congressional sources aren't so sure, they tell CNN. After declaring he wouldn't support a filibuster, John McCain now appears to be waffling on the issue: Before committing, he wants to know more about the administration's actions during the Benghazi attack. "We deserve answers before we move forward with nominees," he says.

In an effort to break any filibuster plans, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid yesterday moved to launch confirmation debate, requiring a vote within days, the Washington Post reports. In such a vote, Hagel would need the support of 60 senators—which could be a tall order, especially if McCain doesn't join in. "This is the first time in the history of our country that a presidential nominee for secretary of defense has been filibustered," Reid lamented. "What a shame." McCain and fellow Republican Lindsey Graham, however, say it's answers they want, not a filibuster.