A floor vote on former Sen. Chuck HagelCharles (Chuck) Timothy HagelAfghan interpreter who helped rescue Biden: 'If they find me, they will kill me' Afghan interpreter who helped extract Biden, other senators in 2008 asks president to save him Democrats defend Afghan withdrawal amid Taliban advance 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 CornynSenate parliamentarian nixes Democrats' immigration plan Democrats make case to Senate parliamentarian for 8 million green cards Democrats to make pitch Friday for pathway to citizenship in spending bill 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 Mason ReidDemocrats say Biden must get more involved in budget fight Biden looks to climate to sell economic agenda Justice Breyer issues warning on remaking Supreme Court: 'What goes around comes around' MORE (D-Nev.) proceeding to a vote on Hagel without the requests being met.
That would force a cloture vote requiring a 60-vote threshold before proceeding to confirm Hagel as Defense secretary.
“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 (Jim) Mountain InhofeTop Republican: General told senators he opposed Afghanistan withdrawal Austin, Milley to testify on Afghanistan withdrawal The Pentagon budget is already out of control: Some in Congress want to make it worse 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 Sidney McCainBiden falters in pledge to strengthen US alliances 20 years after 9/11, US foreign policy still struggles for balance What the chaos in Afghanistan can remind us about the importance of protecting democracy at home 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 Olin GrahamSenate parliamentarian nixes Democrats' immigration plan The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Industries for the Blind - Tight security for Capitol rally; Biden agenda slows Trump offers sympathy for those charged with Jan. 6 offenses MORE (R-S.C.) and Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyottePoll: Potential Sununu-Hassan matchup in N.H. a dead heat Democrats facing tough reelections back bipartisan infrastructure deal Sununu seen as top recruit in GOP bid to reclaim Senate 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 Milton LevinOvernight Defense: First group of Afghan evacuees arrives in Virginia | Biden signs Capitol security funding bill, reimbursing Guard | Pentagon raises health protection level weeks after lowering it Biden pays tribute to late Sen. Levin: 'Embodied the best of who we are' Former Colorado Gov. Richard Lamm dead at 85 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.