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Secretary of Defense Nominee Chuck Hagel Faces Senate Panel in Confirmation Hearing

Chuck Hagel
Chuck Hagel

Chuck Hagel was in Washington, D.C. today to attend a Senate panel hearing for his nomination as Secretary of Defense, according to an ABC News article.

“I’m on the record on many issues, but no one individual vote, no one individual quote, no one individual statement defines me,” Hagel said in his opening statement at his first confirmation hearing for secretary of defense.

The confirmation process promises to be rocky and not as easy as it was for new Secretary of State John Kerry.

Republicans and pro-Israel groups have voiced their unease with Hagel’s record, including his opposition to unilateral sanctions against Iran, support for talks with Hamas, opposition to deeming Iran’s Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization, and a reference to Israel-backing groups as the “Jewish lobby.”

In response to similar accusations by Senators at the hearing, Hagel said “when I voted against some of those unilateral sanctions on Iran, it was a different time.”

“The way I approached every vote I took in the Senate was what I thought would be the most effective,” he added.

The Vietnam veteran and former Republican senator from Nebraska will replace Defense Secretary Leon Panetta if he is confirmed by the Senate.

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