Senate Republicans block Hagel vote

Published: February 14, 2013 6:17 PM

Then Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) speaks on foreign

Photo credit: AP | Then Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) speaks on foreign policy at the Brookings Institution in Washington. President Barack Obama has nominated Hagel as his next defense secretary. (June 26, 2008)

WASHINGTON – Republicans have, for now, blocked Chuck Hagel‘s nomination to become defense secretary.

The Senate came up two votes short of the 60 needed to move Hagel’s nomination forward as lawmakers prepare to leave town for a week’s break. Democrats hold a 55-45 edge in the Senate.

Republicans had been blocking the confirmation of their former colleague from Nebraska who is a Vietnam veteran until they received information from the White House on President Barack Obama‘s actions during the attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya.

The White House responded to that request earlier Thursday, saying Obama spoke with Libyans a day after the attack.

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