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.
Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidDem senator had 'constructive' talk with Trump Communities struggling with decline of coal can’t wait any longer on RECLAIM Act Week ahead: AT&T-Time Warner merger under scrutiny 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 InhofeSenate GOP to Obama: Stop issuing new rules Feds to consider renewed protections for bird species Trump’s nominees may face roadblocks MORE (R-Okla.) and other senate Republicans have demanded more information about speeches the nominee gave and his compensation for them. Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzSenate GOP to Obama: Stop issuing new rules Week ahead: AT&T-Time Warner merger under scrutiny Trump could be the most significant president of our time 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 LeahyPassing US-Canada preclearance would improve security and economy GOP wants to move fast on Sessions Senate Dems pan talk of short-term spending bill MORE (D-Vt.) and Richard BlumenthalRichard BlumenthalTrump gets chance to remake the courts Wrestling mogul McMahon could slam her way into Trump administration Obama will sign Iran sanctions bill passed by Senate 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.”