Reid will not honor Graham's request to hold Hagel nomination for Pentagon

Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidLobbying world Senators fume over fight to change rules for Trump's nominees After Dems stood against Pompeo, Senate’s confirmation process needs a revamp MORE (D-Nev.) said Tuesday he will not honor requests from Republican senators to hold up the nomination of Chuck HagelCharles (Chuck) Timothy HagelShould Mike Pompeo be confirmed? Intel chief: Federal debt poses 'dire threat' to national security Hagel: Trump is 'an embarrassment' MORE to head the Defense Department.

This will force Republicans who want to delay Hagel's nomination to be on the Senate floor to object to an effort to schedule a vote.

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP anxiety grows over Trump’s Iran decision Overnight Cybersecurity: Senators eye path forward on election security bill | Facebook isn't winning over privacy advocates | New hacks target health care Paul backs Pompeo, clearing path for confirmation MORE (R-S.C.) said over the weekend he would hold up Hagel and John Brennan, President Obama's pick to head the Central Intelligence Agency, unless the administration provides more information about its response to last year's terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya.

ADVERTISEMENT
Because Reid will not honor Graham's request for a hold, Graham or a proxy will have to watch the floor carefully and be ready to object immediately if Democrats try to advance Hagel.

Reid told reporters after a press conference Tuesday that he views holds as a courtesy the leader extends to rank-and-file members, and that he does not believe hold requests he views as unreasonable deserve to be recognized.

By stating he will ignore Graham's hold, Reid has signaled he will immediately file a motion to end debate on the Hagel nomination. If Graham or another GOP senator objects, Reid would need 60 votes to advance Hagel.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOvernight Defense: VA nominee on the ropes | White House signals it will fight for pick | Trump talks Syria with Macron | McConnell tees up Pompeo vote Schumer to oppose Pompeo as secretary of State Trump's nominee for the VA is on the ropes MORE (Ky.) told reporters that he would not be surprised if Hagel needed 60 votes to win confirmation.

Hagel formerly served in the Senate as a Republican representing Nebraska. He has come under criticism from former colleagues for his past statements on the war in Iraq, Israel and Iran.

Reid said he hopes the Senate will confirm Hagel this week. The Senate Armed Services Committee was expected to approve Hagel's nomination Tuesday afternoon.