Reed cites Hagel's 'uncommon independence' as asset for Defense role

Obama is expected to announce the nomination of Hagel, a former Republican U.S. senator from Nebraska, on Monday at 1 p.m.

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Republicans have said Hagel’s confirmation in the Senate will be tough. Some raised concerns about whether he would be a strong enough ally to Israel. But Reed pointed to Hagel’s military service and Washington experience as assets for the position.

“[Hagel] is highly qualified and his record of service to this country as a decorated combat veteran, successful CEO, senator and statesman is extraordinary,” Reed said. “I fully support his confirmation.”

Hagel would replace outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.