Levin vows not to allow GOP to hold Hagel to a new disclosure standard

Levin pointed out that Hagel, a former Republican senator from Nebraska, has complied with the same disclosure requirements that past nominees from Republican presidents underwent. He added that it is unprecedented for a secretary of Defense nominee to be filibustered by the minority party.

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“A filibuster at this time with a budget crisis is ill-advised,” Levin said. “Perhaps most important, having a Department of Defense without a new nominee confirmed harms the men and women serving our country.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidMurphy wins Fla. Senate primary, setting up showdown with Rubio Top Dems push FBI to investigate Trump campaign role in DNC hack No, Tim Kaine is not the most liberal member of Congress MORE (D-Nev.) has filed a motion to end debate on Hagel's nomination and move to a final vote. The vote to end debate — which requires 60-votes — is scheduled for Friday, but it doesn't appear that Democrats have the votes.

While Hagel served as a Republican senator just more than four years ago, his views on Iran, Iraq and Israel led to a fiery debate over his nomination. Hagel went through a rough confirmation hearing last week, enduring tough questions from Republican senators and turning in an uneven performance. 

Since then, Sen. James InhofeJames InhofeFeds weigh whether carbon pollution should be measured in highway performance GOP chairman: Kids are ‘brainwashed’ on climate change Feds withdraw lesser prairie-chicken protections MORE (R-Okla.) and other senate Republicans have demanded more information about speeches the nominee gave and his compensation for them. Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzMichele Bachmann: God picked Trump to be the GOP nominee Trump at immigration crossroads Poll: Majority of GOP voters wish they chose another presidential nominee MORE (R-Texas) at a hearing this week suggested the speeches were given to extreme or radical groups, a statement some Democrats have criticized.

Levin called Cruz’s comments “inappropriate, unfair and untrue.”

Sens. Patrick LeahyPatrick LeahyThe U.S. and Nigeria’s Buhari on the human rights hot seat 'CREATES Act' would only create more lawsuits Sanders, liberals press Obama to expand closure of private prisons MORE (D-Vt.) and Richard BlumenthalRichard BlumenthalLawmakers mourn Gene Wilder’s death 'Power problem' grounds southern Florida flights Dem senator's daughter could face Congress over EpiPen price hike MORE (D-Conn.) also came to the Senate floor Thursday to express their support for Hagel. Both senators touted Hagel's experience as a veteran and senator as reason enough to explain his qualifications.

“Is he qualified?” Blumenthal said. “We may have someone whom we would make our first choice … but that’s not the question before us. It is whether he is qualified to be part of the president’s team and to be held accountable for the policies the president sets.”

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