Graham wants Obama to withdraw Hagel nomination

In the statement, however, Graham does not say that he would filibuster Hagel’s nomination, which is likely the only way that Republicans could stop Hagel’s confirmation at this point.

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Even if Hagel is filibustered in an unprecedented move, there may be enough votes to break the filibuster. Two Republicans have said they will support Hagel, and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Monday he was opposed to a filibuster, according to media reports, though he said he was still undecided on the nomination.

It appears highly unlikely that the Obama administration would change directions at this point with Hagel, as no Democratic opposition has formed against him and the party enjoys a 55-45 majority in the Senate.

Graham, McCain and other Republicans already have mounted a campaign that helped scuttle one potential national security nomination for the president’s second term: U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said this weekend that it was not yet clear whether Hagel’s confirmation would require 51 votes or 60, the number needed to break a filibuster.