By Jeremy Herb - 02/13/13 05:32 PM EST
A floor vote on former Sen. Chuck HagelChuck HagelCreating a future for vets in DC Republicans back Clinton, but will she put them in Pentagon? There's still time for another third-party option MORE’s (R-Neb.) confirmation could be “expedited” if Hagel turns over the financial documents that some Republicans are requesting, Senate Minority Whip John CornynJohn CornynSaudi skeptics gain strength in Congress Why Cruz flipped on Trump Schumer rips 'disappointing' 9/11 bill veto, pledges override MORE (R-Texas) told The Hill.
Cornyn said Wednesday that he believed at least one Republican colleague would object to Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidBlack Caucus demands Flint funding from GOP Report: Intelligence officials probing Trump adviser's ties to Russia White House preps agencies for possible shutdown MORE (D-Nev.) proceeding to a vote on Hagel without the requests being met.
“I think there’s still a desire to get responses to the legitimate questions that have been asked, and so far that hasn’t been complied with,” Cornyn said. “This could all be expedited if they would just respond to the reasonable questions being asked of them.”
Some Republican lawmakers say Hagel has failed to disclose funding sources for money he received and have questioned whether he received compensation for speeches to "extreme or radical groups."
Reid said this week that he wants to hold a vote on Hagel Wednesday or Thursday, and that he would reject all Republican holds, an informal method that senators can use to object to proceeding on a nomination.
If Reid is forced to file cloture, the vote to end debate might not come until Friday.
As other Republicans have done, Cornyn stopped short of saying Republicans would filibuster Hagel’s nomination, even if they force a cloture vote with a 60-vote threshold.
“When you deny cloture, that doesn’t mean that the nomination is doomed. It just means the debate will continue and there will be more time given to negotiate,” said Cornyn, who was one of the first to oppose Hagel’s nomination.
Senate Armed Services ranking member Jim InhofeJames InhofeDemocrats blast GOP for ‘sabotaging’ House waterways bill GOP pressures Kerry on Russia's use of Iranian airbase Week ahead: Flint aid fight shifts to House MORE (R-Okla.) has said this week that he will require a 60-vote threshold for Hagel.
“Not force a filibuster, force a 60-vote threshold,” Inhofe said Tuesday. “It’s a different thing altogether.”
Cornyn would not say whether he thought Republicans could get 41 votes to prevent a final confirmation vote.
“I’m not going to speculate about that move, but we’ll see,” Cornyn said.
There would likely be enough votes to defeat a GOP filibuster, as no Democrats are opposed to Hagel’s confirmation and numerous Republican senators have said they are against a filibuster, including Sen. John McCainJohn McCainTrump's new debate challenge: Silence Senate rivals gear up for debates McCain opponent releases new ad hitting his record MORE (R-Ariz.).
McCain believes that Hagel has fulfilled the committee’s disclosure requirements, according to a Senate aide. But McCain also said at Tuesday’s committee vote that he was opposed to proceeding with the nomination until the questions that he and Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamOvernight Finance: McConnell offers 'clean' funding bill | Dems pan proposal | Flint aid, internet measure not included | More heat for Wells Fargo | New concerns on investor visas Senators buck spending bill over Export-Import Bank Pelosi pans latest GOP stopgap spending offer MORE (R-S.C.) and Kelly AyotteKelly AyotteSenate rivals gear up for debates WATCH LIVE: Warren campaigns for Clinton in NH Green group endorses in key Senate races MORE (R-N.H.) have asked President Obama about the attack in Benghazi are answered.
The aide said that McCain fully expects to have an answer before any vote.
Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl LevinCarl LevinThe Fed and a return to banking simplicity What Our presidential candidates can learn from Elmo Zumwalt Will there be a 50-50 Senate next year? MORE (D-Mich.) rejected multiple Republican requests on Tuesday to delay a committee vote over the requested Hagel financial information.
“We're not going to single out one nominee for this kind of disparate treatment,” Levin said.
Hagel’s nomination was approved by the committee on a party-line 14-11 vote after a fiery hearing.