The Senate approves former Sen. Chuck Hagel as Defense secretary after weeks of Republican opposition. Hagel emerges politically weaker as he prepares to fight pending budget cuts.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP/File
Following weeks of bitter partisan fighting over Mr. Hagel’s nomination for the Pentagon post, he won Senate confirmation with surprising ease, passing a key Tuesday cloture vote by 71 to 27. Among those voting “yea” were Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and John McCain of Arizona – two lawmakers who’d battered Hagel, a former GOP senator from Nebraska, over his past statements on Israel, Iran, Libya, and various other national security issues.
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