By Jeremy Herb - 02/13/13 05:32 PM EST
A floor vote on former Sen. Chuck HagelChuck HagelThere's still time for another third-party option Hagel says NATO deployment could spark a new Cold War with Russia Overnight Defense: House panel unveils 5B defense spending bill 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 CornynThe Hill's 12:30 Report Top Republican questions Lynch on Clinton Foundation probe Baby dies of Zika in Texas 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 ReidDems' Florida Senate primary nears its bitter end Trump haunts McCain's reelection fight 10 most expensive House races 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 InhofeFeds weigh whether carbon pollution should be measured in highway performance GOP chairman: Kids are ‘brainwashed’ on climate change Feds withdraw lesser prairie-chicken protections 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 McCainMeghan McCain fires back at Drudge over ‘obnoxious’ headline Ryan: Obama putting 'pet' projects above troops The Hill’s 12:30 Report 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 GrahamClinton, Trump sharpen attacks Graham: Let special prosecutor probe Clinton emails The Trail 2016: Clinton’s ups and downs MORE (R-S.C.) and Kelly AyotteKelly AyotteSanders to campaign for Clinton on Labor Day Republicans slam Biden remarks on closing Gitmo GOP: Ship harassment shows US-Iran relations aren't warming 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 LevinSenate continues to disrespect Constitution, Obama and Supreme Court by not voting on Garland As other regulators move past implementing Dodd-Frank, the SEC falls further behind Will partisan politics infect the Supreme Court? 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.