GOP’s anti-Hagel games nearing an end


We talked yesterday that the latest Republican efforts to derail former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel’s nomination to be Defense Secretary, which Rachel covered in more detail last night, including an informative interview with Norm Ornstein. Today, there’s been some movement on the issue.

To briefly recap, Hagel’s far-right critics, led by freshman Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), have delayed the confirmation process by making demands for information that no cabinet nominee has ever been asked to provide, including transcripts of speeches that don’t exist, and confidential financial information for private companies Hagel has been associated with.

As of late Wednesday, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) was willing to indulge Cruz and his allies as they made unreasonable demands. As of this morning, Levin has apparently grown tired of Republican obstructionist tactics.

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) on Friday rejected Republican calls for Defense nominee Chuck Hagel to provide more financial information, arguing the demands went “far beyond” what had been required of previous nominees.

Levin said that the Senate Armed Services Committee would vote on Hagel’s nomination for secretary of Defense “as soon as possible,” which suggests a vote on the former Nebraska senator could come as early as next week.

The chairman was probably overly gracious in delaying the vote in the first place, but I suppose he wanted to go out of his way to be fair. If one-fourth of the Senate wants to explore additional areas of inquiry involving a cabinet nominee, Levin was willing to hear them out.

But now that their demands have exposed as absurd, the game appears to be just about up.

Ted Cruz, Carl Levin, Chuck Hagel and Cabinet

GOP's anti-Hagel games nearing an end