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

Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidTop Lobbyists 2017: Grass roots Boehner confronted Reid after criticism from Senate floor GOP in uncharted territory rolling back rules through resolutions MORE (D-Nev.) said Tuesday he will not honor requests from Republican senators to hold up the nomination of Chuck HagelCharles (Chuck) Timothy HagelPentagon documents hundreds of serious misconduct cases against top brass Obama defense sec: Trump's treatment of Gold Star families 'sickens' me The Hill's 12:30 Report 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 GrahamCNN to air sexual harassment Town Hall featuring Gretchen Carlson, Anita Hill Trump wrestles with handling American enemy combatants Flake: Trump's call for DOJ to probe Democrats 'not normal' 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.

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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 McConnellMcConnell expects Paul to return to Senate next week Former Hill staff calls for mandatory harassment training Gaming the odds of any GOP tax bill getting signed into law 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.