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 ReidDems see surge of new candidates Dems to grind Senate to a halt over ObamaCare repeal fight GOP fires opening attack on Dem reportedly running for Heller's Senate seat 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 InhofeMcCain strikes back as Trump’s chief critic Turbulence for Trump on air traffic control Parliamentarian threatens deadly blow to GOP healthcare bill MORE (R-Okla.) and other senate Republicans have demanded more information about speeches the nominee gave and his compensation for them. Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzTrump making calls to senators on healthcare bill Trump maintains healthcare push heading into weekend Trump called Cruz to press him on ObamaCare repeal bill: report 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 LeahyGoing national with automatic voter registration Republicans slam Trump’s new policy toward Cuba Trump draws a harder line on Cuba MORE (D-Vt.) and Richard BlumenthalRichard BlumenthalOnly Congress can enable drone technology to reach its full potential Overnight Regulation: Labor groups fear rollback of Obama worker protection rule | Trump regs czar advances in Senate | New FCC enforcement chief Dems urge Sessions to reject AT&T-Time Warner merger 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.”