McCain predicts Hagel likely to get up-or-down Senate vote this week

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Sunday that he expected President Obama’s nominee for Defense secretary, Chuck Hagel, to get an up-or-down vote in the coming days.

“I think it will happen, barring some additional revelation concerning his comments on Israel and all those other really unfortunate things he’s said in the past,” McCain said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Hagel’s nomination was filibustered earlier this month, after GOP senators wanted more information on both Hagel’s financial records and to pressure the White House to answer additional questions about the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. 

On Sunday, McCain stressed that he didn’t believe Hagel was qualified to head up the Pentagon. But he added that he still believes the president’s nominee deserves a vote, which is why he didn’t sign a recent letter from Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) asking Obama to withdraw Hagel’s nomination.

“I do believe that elections have consequences, unfortunately,” McCain said. “And the president of the United States was re-elected.”

Fifteen GOP senators signed the letter asking Obama to withdraw Hagel nomination. 

Hagel is likely to be confirmed if he receives an up-or-down vote. He has the backing of Democrats, who control the chamber, and has received the support of three Republicans: Sens. Thad Cochran (Miss.), Mike Johanns (Neb.) and Richard Shelby (Ala.).