Immediately before Reid’s announcement GOP Sens. John McCainJohn McCainA Cabinet position for Petraeus; disciplinary actions for Broadwell after affair Meet Trump’s ‘mad dog’ for the Pentagon Wrestling mogul McMahon could slam her way into Trump administration MORE (Ariz.), Lamar AlexanderLamar AlexanderKey Republicans ask Trump to keep on NIH director McConnell tees up medical cures bill Speculation and starting points: accreditation, a new administration and a new Congress MORE (Tenn.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamA Cabinet position for Petraeus; disciplinary actions for Broadwell after affair Pentagon should have a civilian chief to give peace a chance Lawmakers eye early exit from Washington MORE (S.C.) said they would support a cloture vote on Hagel’s nomination when the Senate returns from recess on Feb. 25.
The GOP senators said they are still concerned that questions have not be answered on speeches the nominee gave and his compensation for them. Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzCruz: I'd rather have Trump talk to Taiwan than Cuba or Iran Lewandowski: Top Cruz aide advised Trump team before NH primary Five reasons why Donald Trump could be the 'Greatest Communicator' MORE (R-Texas) at a hearing this week suggested the speeches were given to extreme or radical groups, a statement some Democrats have criticized.
“There are still questions outstanding,” McCain said. “I believe senators have the right to have those questions answered. … During the break there is sufficient time to get questions answered and the day we get back I will vote in support of the cloture motion.”
All three Republicans made it clear that just because they would vote for cloture in two weeks did not mean they would vote for his confirmation.
The vote was originally scheduled for Friday, since Sen. James InhofeJames InhofeFeds to consider renewed protections for bird species Trump’s nominees may face roadblocks ‘Covert propaganda’ in federal rulemaking MORE (R-Okla.) and other GOP senators were blocking Hagel's nomination, but the Senate leaders likely reached a deal to hold the vote early in order to avoid having to stay in session Friday.