Senate committee to vote on Obama's choice of Hagel to lead Defence Department | iNFOnews

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Senate committee to vote on Obama's choice of Hagel to lead Defence Department

FILE - In this Jan. 31, 2103 file photo, former Nebraska Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel, President Obama's choice for defense secretary, testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee during his confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, pushed ahead Monday with plans for a vote on Hagel's nomination to be defense secretary despite Republican demands for more financial information from him. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
February 12, 2013 - 12:28 AM

WASHINGTON - Chuck Hagel faces his first major hurdle in his bid to become the nation's defence secretary as a bitterly divided Senate Armed Services Committee pushes toward a vote on his nomination.

The panel is scheduled to meet Tuesday afternoon to discuss and vote on President Barack Obama's choice to succeed Defence Secretary Leon Panetta, who is stepping down after four years as CIA director and Pentagon chief. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is pressing for a full Senate vote on Hagel later in the week.

The former Nebraska senator faces fierce opposition from Republicans who have challenged his past statements and votes on Israel, Iran, Iraq and nuclear weapons.

The committee vote will probably break along party lines — 14 Democrats for Hagel, 12 Republicans against their former colleague.

News from © The Associated Press, 2013
The Associated Press

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