Hagel to get defense secretary nomination Monday, but little Republican support

by
January 7, 2013

Chuck Hagel
Two Republican senators suggested Sunday they would not support fellow party member and former Sen. Chuck Hagel should he get nominated for secretary of defense, while Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said he is reserving judgment.

Texas Sen. John Cornyn had the most strident remarks, saying President Obama nominating Hagel sends “the worst possible message” to Israel and other U.S. allies in the Middle East.

“I will not support Chuck Hagel’s nomination,” Cornyn said in a release, citing in part Hagel’s views on Israel and his opposition to Iranian sanctions.
However, he did not say whether he would try to block Hagel’s potential nomination during a Senate confirmation hearing.

A congressional aide said Senate Democrats have been given a heads-up from the White House that Hagel’s selection is imminent. And an administration official told Fox News the announcement will be made Monday.

Hagel, a decorated Vietnam combat veteran, would replace Pentagon chief Leon Panetta in Obama’s second-term Cabinet.

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