Politico reports that Harry Reid is trying to bring Chuck Hagel’s nomination for Secretary of Defense to a vote, while decrying efforts to block him:
Facing stiff Republican opposition to moving quickly on Chuck Hagel???s nomination to be secretary of Defense, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid filed a cloture motion this afternoon to cut off debate. Sixty votes will be required to cut off debate and then move to an up-or-down vote on the nomination; the vote is scheduled for Friday unless a deal can be reached to hold it earlier.
???This is the first time in the history that a presidential nominee for secretary of defense has been filibustered. What a shame,” Reid said.
That Republican opposition is now “stiff” enough to include Senator Susan Collins of Maine, who was a “yes” vote for Hagel until Wednesday, but then signaled she would vote against him. “I am unable to support Senator Hagel to be the next Secretary of Defense because I do not believe his positions, votes, and statements match the challenges of our time,” she said, citing his positions on nuclear proliferation in Iran and North Korea, the Benghazi debacle, and rocket attacks in Gaza. Collins evident still opposes the use of a filibuster to block Hagel.