Senate Confirms Hagel as Defense Chief
Move follows end of GOP filibuster
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 26, 2013 4:05 PM CST
A file photo of former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

(Newser) – It took a few weeks longer than expected, but the Senate today approved Chuck Hagel to be the next defense secretary. The final vote—58-41, with four Republicans voting in favor—came after the GOP dropped its unprecedented delay of President Obama's choice to head the Pentagon. The former GOP senator from Nebraska succeeds Leon Panetta and joins Obama's new national security team of Secretary of State John Kerry and CIA Director-designate John Brennan.

Hagel's nomination had bitterly split the Senate. Republicans had argued that while Hagel served with distinction in Vietnam, they called him too critical of Israel and too compromising with Iran. Last week, 15 Republican senators sent a letter to Obama asking him to withdraw the nomination. Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, a Democrat, dismissed the "unfair innuendoes" and called Hagel an "outstanding American patriot."

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Feb 27, 2013 7:18 AM CST
See? There is some common sense in DC!
Feb 26, 2013 11:24 PM CST
As a young man I had an easier time with wisdom teeth. But they finally gave in too.
Feb 26, 2013 10:21 PM CST
Why is it that every picture they show of Hagel in Newser always look like he's about to cry?