Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidDraft House bill ignites new Yucca Mountain fight Week ahead: House to revive Yucca Mountain fight Warren builds her brand with 2020 down the road MORE (D-Nev.) said Tuesday he will not honor requests from Republican senators to hold up the nomination of Chuck HagelChuck HagelLobbying World The US just attacked Syria. So where's Congress? Senators tear into Marines on nude photo scandal 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 GrahamTop admiral: North Korea crisis is 'worst I've seen' Comey to testify before Senate Judiciary Committee Overnight Defense: US moving missile defense system to South Korea | Dems want justification for Syria strike | Army pick pushes back against critics of LGBT record 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.
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 McConnellMitch McConnellStudy: Trump tops recent GOP presidents in signing bills in first 100 days Senate passes stopgap funding bill to avert shutdown Let’s never talk about a government shutdown — ever again 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.