At the hearing, Hagel had to disavow some of his previous statements he "regretted." For example, Sen. Mike LeeMike LeeWill Trump back women’s museum? Overnight Cybersecurity: Lawmakers pushing for vote to delay warrant rule changes Coons to call for voice vote to halt changes to hacking rule MORE (R-Utah) brought up Hagel's past comment that Israel kept Palestinians "caged up like animals." He also faced criticism for once commenting that the "Jewish lobby" intimidates figures in Washington.

Hagel could secure the nomination with just Democratic support, so long as no GOP member opted to filibuster the pick.