At the hearing, Hagel had to disavow some of his previous statements he "regretted." For example, Sen. Mike LeeMike LeePaul, Lee call on Trump to work with Congress on foreign policy Right renews push for term limits as Trump takes power Conservatives press Trump on Supreme Court pick 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.