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.

ADVERTISEMENT
“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 ReidChris Murphy’s profile rises with gun tragedies Republicans are headed for a disappointing end to their year in power Obama's HHS secretary could testify in Menendez trial 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 (Jim) Mountain InhofeA third of Congress hasn’t held a town hall — it’s time to take action Anonymous affiliate publishes claimed list of GOP private contact info Wasting America’s nuclear opportunity MORE (R-Okla.) and other senate Republicans have demanded more information about speeches the nominee gave and his compensation for them. Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzWhatever you think the Alabama special election means, you’re probably wrong This week: Congress gets ball rolling on tax reform Week ahead: Senators work toward deal to fix ObamaCare markets 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 Joseph LeahyOvernight Regulation: Massachusetts AG sues Equifax | Trump weighs easing rules on gun exports | EPA nominee to fight worker safety rule in court Trump to ease rules on gun exports: report Overnight Defense: Senate passes 0B defense bill | 3,000 US troops heading to Afghanistan | Two more Navy officials fired over ship collisions MORE (D-Vt.) and Richard Blumenthal (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.”