Why Hagel Wiil Be Confirmed

15 February 2013 |permalink | email article

Senate Republicans on Thursday blocked a vote to confirm Sen. Chuck Hagel as secretary of defense, arguing that Democrats were trying to rush a choice that they think needed more time to consider. In a 58-to-40 vote that broke down almost strictly along partisan lines Democrats said the Republican position amounted to a historic filibuster of a nominee that is usually filled by nonpartisan support. Democrats vowed to hold another vote when the Senate returns from recess. All signs indicated that many Republicans who voted against Hagel on Thursday would not do so then. Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, in office only weeks, led the vicious attack on Hegel, suggesting he was cozy with Iran, reminiscent of the late Republican Sen. Joe McCarthy’s 1954 attacks on Joseph Welch during the Army hearings.

Rand vs. Brennan

It’s been a busy 24 hours for Rand Paul. First, ABC noted the Kentucky Republican delivered the “tea party response” to President Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday night, webcast by the group Tea Party Express. On Wednesday, Paul said he’ll block the nomination of John Brennan, Obama’s nomination to head the Central Intelligence Agency, until Brennan says he believes the president has the authority to kill Americans on American soil. “I have asked Brennan if he believed that the President has the power to authorize to authorize lethal force, such as a drone strike, against a U.S. citizen on American soil, and my question remains unanswered. Brennan came before the Senate Intelligence Committee last week at a sensitive time for the U.S. Intelligence community, after the revelation that Obama’s Office of Legal Counsel had advised that’s O.K. to kill American citizens without any judicial proceedings.

Quotable

“Make no mistake: Republicans are trying to defeat Senator Hagel’s nomination by filibustering while submitting extraneous requests that will never be satisfied.”—Majority Leader Harry Reid, adding “I’m sorry for the president, I’m sorry for the country, and I’m sorry for you. But we’re not going to give up.”

According to the Senate’s historian, Donald A. Ritchie, only five percent of presidential cabinet nominees have been blocked or rejected by the Senate. And only twice since 1917, when the Senate’s modern filibuster rules were created, has a cabinet-level nominee been subject to a supermajority vote of 60, as Republicans are forcing with Hagel.

Following the Postal Service’s announcement that it will end Saturday mail delivery come August, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs met Wednesday to chew over possible solutions to the financial difficulties facing the U.S. Postal Service, ABC reported. 
                                                                       

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