The Senate Armed Services Committee completed its confirmation hearing for former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel (R) to be the next Defense Secretary. The committee now must schedulea vote on the Hagel nomination.
For over eight hours, Hagel fielded questions on statements that he made in the past on everything from gays in the military to the Iraq troop surge.
Sen. Hagel served two terms as a Nebraska Senator. While in Congress, he served on the Committee on Foreign Relations. He voted in favor of the Iraq war before later opposing continued U.S. involvement. He was a Sergeant in the Army and served in Vietnam.
The White House remains confident that he will be confirmed, but so far only one Republican, Mississippi’s Thad Cochran, has come out in support of Hagel with many Republicans publicly expressing concern or outright opposition the nomination.
The current Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is retiring upon Sen. Hagel's confirmation.