The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Politics

February 7, 2013

Senate chairman: Hagel nomination on track

WASHINGTON — Chuck Hagel’s nomination to be the next defense secretary remains on track despite Republican demands for additional information about his paid speeches and business dealings, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee said Thursday.

The GOP requests dealt a setback to President Barack Obama’s pick, forcing the committee to announce late Wednesday it would postpone a vote on the nomination. A new date has not been set.

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the committee, said the additional requests were extraordinary and that Hagel had complied with the panel. He said he would move ahead with a vote as soon as possible.

“We can’t not vote because there’s dissatisfaction. That would be endless,” Levin told reporters. “We’re going to schedule a vote.”

Levin said he was confident the Senate would confirm Hagel, pointing out that none of the Senate’s 55 Democrats oppose the nominee, that two Republicans have announced their support and that several other GOP senators have said they would not back a filibuster.

Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said she would support Hagel’s nomination after meeting with him Thursday.

“His confirmation is very much on track to me,” Levin said.

The White House said Thursday that Hagel has given lawmakers exhaustive information but will continue to disclose more to the Senate panel considering his nomination.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Hagel has turned over all available speech transcripts but that some of his speeches were never transcribed. He said it’s vital that the Pentagon position be filled and urged the Senate to approve Hagel quickly.

Republicans had complained in a letter that Hagel didn’t sufficiently answer questions, including details on all compensation of more than $5,000 that he had received over the past five years. They also pressed him on his recent speeches, which groups he has addressed and on donors to those groups.

“The committee, and the American people, have a right to know if a nominee for secretary of defense has received compensation, directly or indirectly, from foreign sources,” Senate Republicans wrote. “Until the committee receives full and complete answers, it cannot in good faith determine whether you should be confirmed as secretary of defense.”

Hagel insisted in a letter that he had been forthright with the panel and said the financial information being sought was legally controlled by certain entities and not his to disclose.

“He’s been asked what no prior candidates have been asked for, way beyond what the rules of the committee are,” Levin complained. The chairman said he would respond with his own letter to the panel’s Republicans.

One of the committee’s Republicans, Nebraska Sen. Deb Fischer, said Thursday she will vote against Hagel.

Fisher, writing an op-ed published in the Omaha World-Herald, cast Hagel’s views as out of the mainstream, a point she argued during his confirmation hearing last week. She also said Hagel gave “confusing and contradictory” testimony before the Armed Services Committee.

Fischer’s opposition was widely expected, as Hagel endorsed her Democratic rival — former Sen. Bob Kerrey — in the November election. Hagel is a former two-term GOP senator from Nebraska.

Nebraska’s other Republican senator, Mike Johanns, has said he supports Hagel for the job. Hagel also has the backing of Sen. Thad Cochran, Miss.

1
Text Only
Politics
  • With 1 week to go, Sanford subject of attacks

    CHARLESTON, S.C. — Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford can’t seem to escape attacks on the extramarital affair that derailed his political career, which he hopes to revive in a special congressional election that is now a week away.

    May 1, 2013

  • Bombing shifts Mass. Senate race before primaries

    BOSTON — Even before the explosions, polling suggested that Massachusetts voters weren’t excited about the looming special election to replace former U.S. Sen. John Kerry.

    April 28, 2013

  • In a first, black voter turnout rate passes whites

    WASHINGTON — America’s blacks voted at a higher rate than other minority groups in 2012 and by most measures surpassed the white turnout for the first time, reflecting a deeply polarized presidential election in which blacks strongly supported Barack Obama while many whites stayed home.

    April 28, 2013

  • Senate Democrats put off vote on Labor nominee

    WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats have delayed a confirmation vote on Labor Secretary-nominee Thomas Perez after Republicans threatened to use a separate hearing to criticize his handling of a whistleblower case.

    April 24, 2013

  • Sen. Baucus' decision to retire sets stage for majorlegislative changes

     Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., one of the most influential congressional figures of his era, announced his intention Tuesday to retire, a move that could produce sweeping changes in the political and legislative landscape over the next two years.

    April 24, 2013

  • Senate friendship born of tragedy beat partisanship

    These days, most dispatches from Washington focus on petty partisanship, posturing, impasses and a political culture that rewards confrontation.

    April 22, 2013

  • Rubio rising

    If Marco Rubio helps pass comprehensive immigration reform, he will have accomplished more as a senator than Barack Obama did.

    April 22, 2013

  • Gun Bill's Failure May Help Immigration Legislation

    WASHINGTON — Here's an odd political reality: The collapse of the gun bill in the Senate last week may well make the passage of immigration reform legislation slightly easier.

    April 21, 2013

  • Senate Planning Vote on Internet Sales Tax

    WASHINGTON — The days of tax-free online shopping could finally be numbered.

    April 21, 2013

  • Advocates of Immigration Reform Fight Back Against Push for Delay

    WASHINGTON — The Senate's leading supporters of overhauling the nation's immigration system sought Sunday to blunt a conservative effort to slow the pace of debate over their bill, saying the Boston Marathon bombings are a reason to move quickly to make changes.

    April 21, 2013

Featured Ads
Politics Video