Senate confirms Chuck Hagel as Pentagon chief
Washington, United States (4E) – The United States Senate on Tuesday confirmed President Barack Obama’s pick Chuck Hagel as country’s next Defense Secretary.
In a 71-27 vote, as many as 18 Republicans dropped their opposition and joined Democrats in clearing Senate’s way to hold full vote on confirmation earlier during the day.
Later, on Tuesday, the Senate voted 58-41 in a simple majority vote where the former Republican Nebraska senator needed only 50 votes to pass the hurdle.
Hagel’s nomination has been delayed, as some Republicans sought information about the finances and transcripts of speeches of Obama’s nominee that he had given at the international organizations in recent years.
“We must end this uncertainty about this position,” said Carl Levin, chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “We need a secretary of defense,” Levin said on the Senate floor.
Hagel will replace Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.
Meanwhile, the United States Senate Finance Committee has approved Jack Lew’s nomination for the new Treasury secretary. In a 19-5 vote on Tuesday, Senators chose Lew to replace Timothy Geithner, who resigned last month. The full senate vote is likely on Wednesday.