Hagel Nomination Clears Filibuster
Senate will vote to confirm in a matter of hours
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 26, 2013 11:56 AM CST
In this Jan. 31, 2013, file photo, Secretary of Defense nominee Chuck Hagel testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee during his confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, file)

(Newser) – The Senate has voted 71-27 to end debate on Chuck Hagel's nomination for secretary of Defense, paving the way for his all-but-guaranteed confirmation later this afternoon. Republicans had been filibustering Hagel's nomination, with the last vote to end debate on Feb. 14 falling just short of the 60-vote threshold needed, at 58-40.

This time 11 senators changed their vote—including, notably, John McCain, Roll Call reports. (Hagel and McCain have had something of a rocky relationship, though McCain has always seemed resigned to confirming him.) The Senate will hold its final vote on Hagel around 4:30pm, and when that happens he'll need only a simple majority to be installed atop the Pentagon.
 

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