Key Republicans say Chuck Hagel now likely to be confirmed
Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham have led the opposition to Chuck Hagel's nomination to be secretary of defense. Now, both say former Sen. Hagel is likely to be confirmed.
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Questions about President Obama’s handling of the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, which killed four Americans, including the US ambassador – an issue, by the way, which Mr. Hagel had nothing to do with – are being answered to the apparent satisfaction of Republicans … at least to the point where they’re willing to end their de facto filibuster of Hagel’s nomination.
The argument over Hagel’s reference to the power of the “Jewish lobby” on the State Department and members of Congress – a phrase frequently heard in Israel itself to describe influential lobbying efforts on behalf of the Jewish state – seems to be settled to the satisfaction of Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) of South Carolina. Sen. Graham, along with Sen. John McCain, led the opposition to Hagel in the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Now, Sen. McCain is ready to drop such confirmation roadblocks.
“I don't believe he's qualified, but I don't believe we should hold up his confirmation any further," McCain said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press." "I think it's a reasonable amount of time to have questions answered."
"I'm confident that Senator Hagel will probably have the votes necessary to be confirmed as secretary of defense," McCain said.
On Fox News Sunday, Graham said he’s satisfied with Hagel’s disavowing any comment about Israel and the State Department, which critics say Hagel made in 2007.