U.S. Sen. John McCain said on Monday that he will support a committee vote on the nomination of former Sen. Chuck Hagel for secretary of defense.
“I believe it is appropriate for the Armed Services Committee to vote on Senator Hagel’s nomination and determine whether to move this nomination to the Senate floor where members can debate and express their own judgments on Sen. Hagel,” said McCain, an Arizona Republican.
McCain said he shares the concerns expressed by Sen. Lindsey Graham, who said on Sunday that he may place a hold on Hagel’s nomination. The South Carolina Republican said that he needs answers about President Barack Obama’s personal actions during the Sept. 11 attack in Benghazi, Libya, that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.
“No confirmation without information,” Graham told CBS News “Face the Nation” host Bob Schieffer.
The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman, Carl Levin, said he will seek a vote by the panel starting at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday on Hagel’s nomination for defense secretary.
“It is the chairman’s intention to vote on the nomination after the members have an opportunity for discussion,” said Levin, a Michigan Democrat.
Levin has predicted all 55 senators who vote with Democrats will back Hagel on the Senate floor, and at least five Republicans have indicated they would provide the additional votes needed to block a threatened filibuster.
White House press secretary Jay Carney said the administration ’"firmly’’ believes Hagel will be confirmed by the Senate. The administration has answered questions raised yesterday by Graham, he said. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Panetta appeared before congressional panels to answer questions about the attacks in Libya and “now they’re moving the goalposts again.”
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