GOP votes against Hagel increase

Twelve Republican senators now say they will vote against former Sen. Chuck HagelCharles (Chuck) Timothy HagelAlmost 100 former officials, members of Congress urge Senate action on election security GOP Senate candidate said Republicans have 'dual loyalties' to Israel White House aide moves to lobbying firm MORE's (R-Neb.) confirmation as Defense secretary. 

Sens. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntTrump's legal team huddles with Senate Republicans Overnight Defense: Trump cancels presser, cuts short NATO trip | Viral video catches leaders appearing to gossip about Trump | Dem witnesses say Trump committed impeachable offenses | Trump reportedly mulling more troops in Middle East Trump legal team gears up for Senate impeachment trial in meeting with GOP senators MORE (Mo.), Mark KirkMark Steven KirkWhy Republicans are afraid to call a key witness in the impeachment inquiry Ex-Rep. Duffy to join lobbying firm BGR Bottom Line MORE (Ill.) and Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrSenate passes bipartisan bill to permanently fund historically black colleges NC rep explores Tillis primary challenge Trump legal team gears up for Senate impeachment trial in meeting with GOP senators MORE (N.C.) became the latest "no" votes on Friday, saying they would oppose Hagel's nomination one day after a shaky confirmation hearing in which Hagel was grilled by Republicans on the Senate Armed Services Committee. 

Sens. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioRubio places hold on number-two Interior nominee over offshore drilling Rubio on Chris Pratt water bottle story: 'I too was caught with a single use plastic water bottle' House votes to sanction Chinese officials over treatment of Uighurs MORE (Fla.) and Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsFormer US intel official says Trump would often push back in briefings Hillicon Valley: Amazon to challenge Pentagon cloud contract in court | State antitrust investigation into Google expands | Intel agencies no longer collecting location data without warrant Intelligence agencies have stopped collecting cellphone data without warrants: letter MORE (Ind.) said Thursday they were voting against Hagel.

Several more Republicans, including Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP senator blocks Armenian genocide resolution Hannity slams Stern for Clinton interview: 'Not the guy I grew up listening to' The Hill's Morning Report - Dem dilemma on articles of impeachment MORE (S.C.), haven’t said how they will vote, but are clearly leaning against voting to confirm him.

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Blunt cited Hagel’s testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday in explaining his decision.

“Senator Hagel’s answers before the committee were simply too inconsistent, particularly as they related to Iran and Israel,” Blunt said in a statement. “The idea that we can contain a nuclear Iran and his view that we should not have unilateral sanctions are just wrong and are too dangerous for us to try.”

Kirk also cited the testimony in suggesting he'd been troubled by Hagel's initial description of Iran's government as being legitimate and elected.

"During yesterday's confirmation hearing, Senator Hagel instinctively called the Iranian government both elected and legitimate," Kirk said in a statement. "He initially offered strong support for containment of Iran, rather than President Obama's stated policy of preventing an Iranian nuclear breakout. He could not clearly explain his past opposition to unilateral sanctions against Iran – opposition as recent as 2008."


Blunt, who will also vote on Hagel’s confirmation in the Armed Services Committee, stopped short of supporting a filibuster of Hagel on the Senate floor.

“My strong inclination would be that this is a vote that should be done by a majority rather than a 60-vote standard,” Blunt said on MSNBC.

Thus far, no Republican has threatened to filibuster Hagel’s nomination.

Without a filibuster, Hagel is likely to be confirmed. No Democrats have said they will vote against him, and they enjoy a 55-45 advantage in the Senate. That suggests the confirmation vote will be mostly along party lines — rare for a Defense secretary confirmation — with few Republicans supporting their former Senate colleague.

Sen. Thad CochranWilliam (Thad) Thad CochranMike Espy announces Mississippi Senate bid Biden has a lot at stake in first debate The Hill's Morning Report — Trump turns the page back to Mueller probe MORE (Miss.) is the only Republican who has said publicly he supports Hagel.

The other Republicans who have said they will vote against Hagel are Sens. John CornynJohn CornynGiffords, Demand Justice to pressure GOP senators to reject Trump judicial pick Push to investigate Bidens sets up potential for Senate turf war Pressure grows on House GOP leaders to hold line ahead of impeachment trial MORE (Texas), James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeOvernight Defense: Trump leaves door open to possible troop increase in Middle East | Putin offers immediate extension of key nuclear treaty Trump leaves door open to possible troop increase in Middle East Pentagon official: 'Possible' more US troops could be deployed to Middle East MORE (R-Okla.), Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzTrade deal talks expand as Congress debates tech legal shield Sanders meets with MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred Cruz knocks Chick-fil-A over past donation: It has 'lost its way' MORE (Texas), David VitterDavid Bruce VitterRed-state governor races put both parties on edge Louisiana Republicans score big legislative wins Trump calls on Republicans to vote out Democratic Louisiana governor amid GOP infighting MORE (La.), Roger WickerRoger Frederick WickerTrade deal talks expand as Congress debates tech legal shield Hillicon Valley: House passes anti-robocall bill | Senators inch forward on privacy legislation | Trump escalates fight over tech tax | Illinois families sue TikTok | Senators get classified briefing on ransomware Senators inch forward on federal privacy bill MORE (Miss.), Pat RobertsCharles (Pat) Patrick RobertsThe Hill's Morning Report - Intel panel readies to hand off impeachment baton The job no GOP senator wants: 'I'd rather have a root canal' The Hill's Morning Report — House set for Phase 3 of impeachment push MORE (Kan.) and Tom CoburnThomas (Tom) Allen CoburnThe Hill's Morning Report — Presented by PhRMA — Worries grow about political violence as midterms approach President Trump’s war on federal waste American patients face too many hurdles in regard to health-care access MORE (Okla.).

Burr said in a statement that Thursday’s hearing reiterated “many of the concerns I had about his confirmation," according to WWAY.

“After reviewing the hearing, and Sen. Hagel's answers to the questions put to him, it is clear that I cannot support his nomination, and I will vote against his nomination should it reach the Senate floor,” Burr said.

— Published at 11:43 a.m. and updated at 3:10 p.m.