Hagel Vote Filibuster – Republicans Have 41 Votes

On Wednesday, Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) indicated that there may be enough votes in the Senate to delay debate on the nomination of Chuck Hagel to head the Defense Department. He said that there were at least 40 votes in the Senate to that effect. However, it looks like the number has changed to 41 and that a filibuster will be staged.

Politico reported,

The GOP, which controls 45 votes in the Senate, would need 41 votes to block former Sen. Hagel from hitting the 60-vote threshold that some Republicans have threatened.

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“I don’t think we’ll move forward for a few days on that,” Blunt said at POLITICO’s post-State of the Union event. “And there’s been requests for more information. I think ultimately Senator Hagel will provide that information.”

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In particular, Republicans on the Armed Services Committee have asked for more detailed financial disclosures from Hagel – a demand dismissed by Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), the committee’s chairman.

“We’re not going to accept a change in the rules that applies to one nominee,” Levin said earlier this week as he defended Hagel. “We are not going to accept your suggestion and innuendo that there’s some sort of conflict of interest.”

In an interview given to Breitbart News editor Larry O’Connor by Senator David Vitter (R-LA) he indicated that the votes were there to continue discussion over the Hagel nomination.

ABC News’ Jonathan Karl seems to confirm Vitter’s claims that Democrats do not have enough votes to ensure Hagel’s confirmation.

Outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was hoping today would be his last day at the Pentagon. The White House was hoping it would have a new Defense Department secretary by Friday.

Not so fast.

It now looks like Democrats don’t have the votes to get Hagel confirmed, at least not yet.

That’s because Republicans are determined to block a straight up-or-down vote – at least for now – until Hagel turns over more information on his financial disclosure form and the Obama administration answers more questions about last year’s attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

The delay would give the Senate more time to consider more information about Hagel’s background that is emerging every day, including a 2008 address to the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) which was a formal speech, contrary to the claims of the Obama administration.

While video and text evidence of the speech is believed to exist, it has not been brought to light. The Washington Free Beacon was told by the ADC that the speech is in an archive, but that it was unavailable. There is much more the ADC is hiding, like 990 IRS forms, which are meant to be publicly available upon request. Additionally, this only goes to further demonstrate that the Obama administration is far from the “most transparent” administration Obama promised America.

Fox News reports,

Republicans already are almost uniformly opposed to Hagel. But with this leverage, they are also demanding the White House provide more information about what President Obama was doing on the night of the Benghazi terror attack.

Democrats hold a 55-45 edge in the Senate and have the numbers to confirm Hagel on a majority vote. But one source told Fox News that Democrats do not have the 60 votes to cut off the filibuster on Friday.

Separately, Republican lawmakers predicted to Fox News that Hagel would ultimately get confirmed — but it won’t happen Friday.

While I’m glad to see Republicans demanding more information, it does make me curious how on the one hand they are “almost uniformly opposed to Hagel,” but then on the other “Republican lawmakers predicted Hagel would ultimately get confirmed.” It seems a bit odd to me, but let’s just see how many are actually opposed to him, once the vote is taken.

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