Senate ends debate on Chuck Hagel’s nomination

Chuck Hagel

Nearly two weeks after Republicans successfully filibustered his appointment, the Senate ended debate on Chuck Hagel’s nomination for Secretary of Defense in a 71-27 vote earlier this afternoon.

Republicans had objected to comments and positions taken by Hagel, who has previously served two terms as member of their caucus in Senate. Some of the comments and innuendo thrown back at Hagel were taken out of context or were based on incredibly tenuous sources, such as the “Friends of Hamas” fiasco.

Shortly after the first cloture vote, Republicans started breaking away. It was apparent that Hagel would be confirmed in due time.

Among the 27 Republicans who voted against cloture were Sens. Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio.

What does Hagel’s confirmation mean? Not much. Republicans insist that he has been margalized due to the confirmation process, but they were ultimately unable to block him. That stunt may have helped them with neo-conservatives, but it did little else. And Hagel isn’t the non-interventionist that anti-war activists are making him out to be, though he has walked back some of his previous views.

The final vote on Hagel’s confirmation is this afternoon at 4:30pm.

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