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Senate Confirms Hagel As Defense Secretary

The Senate has voted to confirm Chuck Hagel to be the nation's next defense secretary.

The vote Tuesday was 58-41, with four Republicans joining Democrats in backing President Barack Obama's nominee.

The vote ended a contentious fight over the president's choice for his second-term national security team.

Republicans opposed the former two-term Republican senator from Nebraska, casting him as out of the mainstream and overly critical of Israel. But Democrats stood together for Hagel, a twice-wounded Vietnam combat veteran.

Hagel will succeed Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who is stepping down after four years as CIA director and Pentagon chief.

The vote came just hours after Republicans dropped their delay and allowed the nomination to move forward. The Senate vote to end the filibuster was 71-27.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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The Senate has voted to move forward on the nomination of Chuck Hagel for defense secretary, clearing the way for confirmation of President Barack Obama's choice.

The vote was 71-27 on Tuesday to end the GOP filibuster.

The Senate could vote later Tuesday to confirm Hagel, who has the necessary votes for approval. Hagel would succeed Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who is stepping down after four years as CIA director and Pentagon chief.

Republicans had opposed Hagel, a former Republican senator from Nebraska and Vietnam combat veteran. They cast him as out of the mainstream, questioned his support for Israel and suggested he was too willing to compromise with Iran.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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