Republican senators blocked the confirmation of President Obama’s nominee to head the Department of Defense, former republican Senator Chuck Hagel, in a 58-40 roll call vote Thursday, with one senator voting “present.” President Obama told participants in a Google Hangout Thursday shortly after the vote:
“My expectation and hope is that Chuck Hagel, who richly deserves to get a vote on the floor of the Senate, will be confirmed as our Defense Secretary. It’s just unfortunate that this kind of politics intrudes at a time while I’m still presiding over a war in Afghanistan and I need a Secretary of Defense who is coordinating with our allies to make sure our troops are getting the kind of strategy and mission that they deserve.”
Hagel’s nomination could survive if Democrats are able to muster enough support by the week of Feb. 25, when his confirmation will face another vote. Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., joins Jansing & Co. Friday to discuss, along with National Journal’s Chris Frates and The Washington Post‘sDavid Nakamura.
President Obama’s proposed commission to ease the hassles of voting is meeting opposition from both parties. One group taking issue is the League of Women Voters. The organization’s president Elisabeth MacNamara will voice the group’s concerns on Friday’s show.
The President returns to the area of Chicago he used to represent in the state Senate Friday to sell the public on the policies he outlined in Tuesday’s State of the Union address. Among topics he’ll touch on, according to White House officials, is gun violence, which has racked the city.
Plus, Kate Childs Graham, a columnist for the “Young Voices” series at the National Catholic Reporter, is here to talk about the issues facing the next pope.