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Divided Senate Armed Services Committee Approves Chuck Hagel for Top Defense Post

Former U.S. Senator Hagel testifies during Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on his nomination to be Defense Secretary, on Capitol Hill in WashingtonThe Senate Armed Services Committee held a two-hour meeting on Tuesday to debate the nomination of Chuck Hagel as the next Secretary of Defense, according to a New York Times article.

In a 14-11 vote, the committee decided to send the nomination to the Senate floor where members of the legislative body will vote on his nomination.

(Click Here, to read about Hagel facing a Senate panel as part of his confirmation hearing.)

During the meeting, representatives engaged in contentious arguments about the merits of the nominee along party lines.

One example is when Republican Ted Cruz questioned the source of payments Hagel had received for speaking engagements.

“It is at a minimum relevant to know if that $200,000 that he deposited in his bank account came directly from Saudi Arabia, came directly from North Korea,” the Senator said.

“Senator Cruz has gone over the line,” Senator Bill Nelson responded. “He basically has impugned the patriotism of the nominee.”

According to the article, blocking such a high-level presidential appointee has only happened twice since 1917, when the Senate’s modern filibuster rules were created.

Hagel has faced opposition from both parties because of his past remarks seen as anti-Jewish, anti-gay or non-supportive of American foreign policy.

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