Senate Allows Nomination Of Chuck Hagel To Move Forward

The Senate voted today to stop debating and allow the nomination of former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense to come for a vote before the full Senate.

Hagel is expected to be confirmed.

As we reported, Senate Republicans took the unprecedented step of filibustering his nomination. On Valentines Day, they voted 58 to 40 to continue debate on his nomination.

Today, the Senate voted 71 to 27 in favor of cloture.

As they detailed in a letter to President Obama, Republicans oppose Hagel in part because of what they say is an untenable position on Iran.

Fifteen Republicans called for Obama to withdraw the nomination. The White House refused.

Reuters reports the nomination is now expected to come before the full Senate either later today or Wednesday. Hagel needs at least 51 votes to be confirmed.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit