WASHINGTON - US Senator Dick Durbin says he will vote to confirm, but US Senator Mark Kirk will have some "tough" questions to ask President Obama's nominee for the next secretary of Defense, former GOP US Senator Chuck Hagel.
Roll Call reported early in January that an aide to Kirk was circulating negative learning emails about Hagel, and about the same time Kirk made known his hesitation:
“I am concerned about his past record and statements, particularly with regard to Iran and the U.S.-Israel relationship."
Several news sources say Kirk is leaning to be a "no" vote, although his comments to Illinois Review Wednesday did not indicate his vote leaning. The Hill reports Thursday Hagel will face tough questions from other senators as well:
Former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) will confront his critics on Thursday at a hearing that will likely determine whether he is confirmed as President Obama’s next secretary of Defense.
GOP senators who oppose the nomination— including the Armed Service Committee’s top Republican, Sen. Jim Inhofe (Okla.) — are ready to pepper Hagel with sharp questions about the Iraq war, Israel, Iran and much more in a bid to erode his support.
Sources close to the confirmation process say Hagel has prepared for the hearing in private sessions that were designed to mimic the grilling he will face from both sides of the aisle.
Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/defcon-hill/policy-and-strategy/280253-hagel-to-confront-his-critics-in-make-or-break-confirmation-hearing#ixzz2JZC4bXjK
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