Senate clears the way for confirmation of Hagel
WASHINGTON – The Senate cleared the way Tuesday for confirmation of Chuck Hagel to be the nation's next defense secretary after Republicans dropped their unprecedented delay of President Barack Obama's choice to head the Pentagon.
On a vote of 71-27, the Senate ended a Republican filibuster, setting the stage for the widely expected confirmation of the former two-term Republican senator from Nebraska later in the day. Eighteen Republicans joined 51 Democrats and two independents to move forward with the contentious nomination.
If confirmed, Hagel would succeed Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and join Obama's retooled national security team of Secretary of State John Kerry and CIA Director-designate John Brennan.
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