Last Updated:November 28 @ 05:03 pm

Reid: GOP effort to block Hagel nomination 'shocking' and 'tragic'

By Associated Press

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Senate's top Democrat attacked Republican senators Thursday for blocking Chuck Hagel's nomination to be President Barack Obama's next secretary of defense, saying it was "shocking" and "tragic" that they would attempt such a move at a time when the U.S. military is engaged in so many places around the world.

The vote on Hagel was expected Friday, but Senate Republicans want more information about what Obama was doing on the night of the deadly attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, in September. The attack killed the U.S. ambassador.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said such a move is unprecedented. He said Republicans notified him Wednesday night they would withhold the votes needed to advance Hagel's nomination. That strategy would prevent Hagel's nomination from getting the required 60 votes.

The White House responded on Wednesday to the Republicans' request for information about Benghazi, Reid said. "But now Republicans say this is not enough," Reid said. "This is no way to operate."

Reid filed a motion Wednesday to limit debate and force a full Senate vote.

Hagel, a former Republican senator and twice-wounded Vietnam combat veteran, has already faced sharp questioning from his former colleagues over his past statements and votes on Israel, Iran, Iraq and nuclear weapons.

A bitterly divided Armed Services Committee on Tuesday voted to approve Hagel by a 14-11 vote, with all the panel's Democrats backing him. The committee's Republicans were unified in opposition to their onetime colleague, who will succeed Defense Secretary Leon Panetta if he's confirmed.

While Democrats hold a 55-45 edge in the Senate and have the numbers to confirm Hagel on a majority vote, they need the support of five Republicans to clear the way for an up-or-down vote on him.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican, said he'll vote against ending debate on Hagel's nomination, and Sen. John McCain, another Republican who most sharply questioned Hagel during his Senate hearing, may join him.

They want to know whether Obama spoke to any Libyan government official during the assault and requested assistance for the American personnel at the mission. U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans died in the raid at the compound in Benghazi.

"There seems to not be much interest to hold this president accountable for a national security breakdown that led to the first ambassador being killed in the line of duty in over 30 years," Graham said. "No, the debate on Chuck Hagel is not over. It has not been serious. We don't have the information we need."

McCain declined to say Wednesday whether he would try to delay Hagel's confirmation if Obama did not provide an answer. "My position right now is I want an answer to the question," he said.

The nomination of John Brennan as CIA director is also being delayed; the Senate Intelligence Committee is pushing off a vote amid demands that the White House turn over more details about drone strikes against terror suspects and about the Benghazi attacks. Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat, said a vote likely will be postponed till late February.

A president's pick for a Cabinet post usually requires only a majority vote, leading Reid to accuse Senate Republicans of orchestrating a filibuster against a nominee for defense secretary for the first time in the country's history.

But the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee challenged Reid's claim, saying it's not unusual to hold a Cabinet nominee to a 60-vote threshold. "It's not a filibuster," said Sen. James Inhofe. "This has happened (before), and it's happening again right now."

Sen. Carl Levin, the Democrat and chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said he's confident that the White House will supply the information Graham and McCain want and that Hagel will be confirmed.


Associated Press writers Richard Lardner, Alan Fram and Donna Cassata contributed to this report.

A service of YellowBrix, Inc.

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Reid: GOP effort to block Hagel nomination 'shocking' and 'tragic', 4.9 out of 10 based on 18 ratings

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  1. capricorn1Comment by capricorn1
    February 14, 2013 @ 12:28 pm

    bwah,bwah,bwah what a dam hypocrit dingy harry is.he obstructed every thing gwb tried to do.and has thrown our troops under the bus,stole his re-election,my new name for him is rudolph hess.

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    • kid721952Comment by kid721952
      February 14, 2013 @ 5:07 pm

      Harry reid is a snake and a liar,Hagel would only be a puppet NOT A LEADER and I don’t know what he’s talking about being engaged,our military,all over the world,he and his cronies for socialism are gutting the military,we can’t even afford to fuel our aircraft carriers to protect the United Staes,he’s to busy giving our tax dollars to egypt and other third world countries that hate the U.S.Harry reid is a drunken politician on POWER AND CONTROL and as long as he pushes obamas socialistic path he will be taken care of for life and as far as brenan is concerned,the fact that he converted to islam is enough for me to block his nomination

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    • Son Of ThunderComment by mcrank
      February 14, 2013 @ 7:56 pm

      Dirty Harry—if Hagel isn’t the man for the job (and he isn’t)—the Republicans or anyone else who wants to block his nomination have every right to do so. If you had half a grain of sense, you would block it.

      You’re just like your incompetent leader—finger-pointing and blaming the Republicans when things don’t go your way. Somebody has to care about the country since the Socialist Party-in-charge doesn’t.

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  2. my04301933Comment by my04301933
    February 14, 2013 @ 12:59 pm

    When a registered Communist, of The U.s. Communist Party of America, registers a complaint, then you know someone in Congress and the Senate is doing something right.

    Every time I note Reid, either hear, read, or view him,I get an image of the Third Reich…

    …I’m, as some of you may already know, a history research analyst and since Obama’s first entry into the political scene I have again review The Third Reich, FDR, Stalin, and most Chinese dictatorships.

    Obama, Reid, Pelosi, Hillary…and most recently the D.O.J. and its Attorney General have a profile that is strikingly like those of past world terrorists and dictators.

    Obama, in his first 4 years studied (in a panic because he didn’t have a clue what do to and how) FDR, who was a whisper, heart beat from embracing a dictatorship for America.

    Since re-election Obama has embraced a perfect likeness to The Third Reich. Read about it.

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    • lokiswifeComment by lokiswife
      February 14, 2013 @ 3:11 pm

      Hagel’s nomination is a thank you from Obama for his help in getting Obama re-elected. Hagel’s company owns the voting machines that count the votes in the areas that Obama needed to win but were tilting toward Romney. All of Hagel’s machines recorded Obama wins and gave him the edge he needed. Hagel also used his company’s voting machines to get him into office over the incumbent. Just another of the “quality” appointments by Obama….

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  3. Ollie_FanComment by Ollie_Fan
    February 14, 2013 @ 1:48 pm

    Know what was “shocking and tragic”? The nonchalant efforts and post analysis in Benghazi.
    Another? Using children to promote your anti-2nd ammendment agenda.
    How ’bout one more? Obama winning a second term and the you democrats hanging on in the Senate. Now that was “shocking and tragic”.

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  4. 7papa7Comment by 7papa7
    February 14, 2013 @ 2:47 pm

    Hey bonehead reid, it is a shame we can’t block you. You sure never do your job. One of your primary jobs is to do a budget. You haven’t done one in 4 years and the worst part is that you never even brought one to the floor to be voted on. You should be impeached for it. Heir Hagel is not qualified, he is anti American. I wish I could remember the source but I believed he became a Muslim when he was in the middle east. He is definitely anti Israel as is the white house marxist. I hope that for once the senate does something right and stops his nomination. He would make us defenseless against a world that despises us more and more because of the lack of leadership from obama. We may need all the weapons, nukes included, and more because of obama and his gross incompetency on the world stage as well as domestically. Hagel must be stopped at all costs.

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  5. rwjacksrComment by rwjacksr
    February 14, 2013 @ 2:50 pm

    Harry Reid is one of the most educated idiots I have ever heard speak and on top of that Harry Reid is one of the most anti American Senators to have ever disgraced our hollow halls of congress and he is also one of the idiots that gave almost a million dollars in stimulus money to the Barber Shop in the senate office building.

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    • CharlieComment by vietnamvet
      February 14, 2013 @ 10:26 pm

      And, he (again) made the Judicial Watch top ten list of ‘most corrupt politician’ for 2012.

      Hillary and Obama were among the nine others on the list.

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  6. jenerseaComment by jenersea
    February 14, 2013 @ 2:51 pm

    Lets see the GOP really get aggrasive and cut off funding to his socialist party programs. They haven’t blocked the nomination yet and Boehner still has time to weasel out of it.

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  7. BillzillaComment by Billzilla
    February 14, 2013 @ 3:17 pm

    What’s “shocking and tragic” is that: Harry Reid is US Senator, much less the Majority “Leader”!

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  8. steven LComment by steven L
    February 14, 2013 @ 3:56 pm

    The Republicans do not want another Stevens type of death considering the lackadaisical conduct of this administration. To act otherwise would be a dereliction of duty.
    That is probably meaningless for Mr. Reid.

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    • bna42Comment by bna42
      February 14, 2013 @ 5:52 pm

      “The White House responded on Wednesday to the Republicans’ request for information about Benghazi, Reid said. “But now Republicans say this is not enough,” Reid said. “This is no way to operate.”

      The White House didn’t respond. Obama had an attorney write a letter to the committee saying that HE personally didn’t contact the Libya government. He threw Hillary under the bus, knowing that she had already left office and the Congress wouldn’t go after her because they have too many irons in the fire. When Obama is faced with requiring all the memos, emails, videos, and documents concerning Benghazi released to prove what happened, he will once again use executive privilege to protect his sorry a–. He should be denied that privilege since he has already admitted that HE had nothing to do with the events, so he shouldn’t hide behind executive privilege.

      The best thing the House could do for this nation is impeach Obama, and they have already been giving a ruling by a federal court that he has violated the constitution, which is grounds for impeachment.

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  9. joe23006Comment by joe23006
    February 14, 2013 @ 4:52 pm

    Blocking conservative appointees is so progressive, blocking liberal appointees is so retrograde to the disillusioned left. Enough said!

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  10. gavinwcaComment by gavinwca
    February 14, 2013 @ 5:55 pm

    Hagel is an Anti-American Fascist, who loves the Muslim brotherhood . Brennan who said to be a converted Muslim, associated with the Muslim Brotherhood, no American in their right mind would except these two into the State Dept And CIA, are we crazy.

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  11. jqcitizenComment by jqcitizen
    February 14, 2013 @ 6:54 pm

    Reid is obviously Obama’s main man now that Pelosi has been sidelined. Both are corrupt idiots concerned not for this Country’s well-being, but for their own enrichment and power. Unfortunately, the only way they can maintain their position is by supporting Obama’s mad dash to totally destroy our Country. As to Obama’s nominees, I assume that their quality will be the same as the appointments made to the Supreme Court, DHS, Department of State, Department of Energy, and his Czars. All should be removed for incompetence, as should Obama. Based on his record, it is improbable that he would ever appoint anyone acceptable to patriotic Americans and any Senator would be unwise to rubber stamp his nominees.

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  12. Cape ConservativeComment by Cape Conservative
    February 14, 2013 @ 8:33 pm

    Dear Senator Reid – the fact that under YOUR leadership the Senate has failed to present a budget for several years is both SHOCKING & TRAGIC!

    Remember what your mother always used to say…when you point your finger at someone, there are FOUR aimed right back at YOU!

    Under your leadership, our country has fallen into the worst state of the union in our lifetimes! SHAME ON YOU!

    I urge ALL Republicans to stand together and reject the appointments of both Hagel and Brennan…for the GOOD of our country!

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  13. lizazComment by lizaz
    February 14, 2013 @ 10:31 pm

    Poor Harry…he’s just mad because they wanted to jam the Hagel confirmation through before anyone could bring up anything negative that the American people might see…also, Hagel has not responded to some questions brought up in the hearing. Two days and Harry’s mad because he couldn’t get a vote…….sorry, Harry…you lost one…..and you all may lose more in November 2014…….we are WATCHING !

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