Reid says GOP wasted 12 days by delaying Hagel's confirmation

Nearly two weeks ago the Senate failed to get 60 votes to overcome a Republican filibuster against Hagel. The vote ended up being 58-40. But the Senate will likely get the 60 necessary votes at noon on Tuesday.

Reid said the only reason Republicans blocked Hagel’s nomination was because of partisanship.

“Politically motivated delays send a terrible signal to our enemies around the world,” Reid said. “For the sake of national security it’s time to put aside this partisanship.”

Republicans have expressed concern over Hagel’s “weak” position on Iran and his lack or support for Israel. 

Once cloture motion passes, the Senate will proceed later in the week to final passage of Hagel’s nomination, which would only need a simple majority.

Reid said Hagel was certainly qualified to run the Department of Defense since he was a Vietnam War vet, among other things. He also stressed that with looming sequester cuts having a major effect on the defense budget, that the Defense Department needs leadership to handle such cuts set to start taking effect Friday.