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Chuck Hagel clears Senate hurdle toward confirmation

The Senate voted 71-27 on Tuesday to end debate on Chuck Hagel’s nomination to become secretary of Defense, ending a Republican rearguard campaign that forced Democrats to fight for every step toward confirmation, which is expected within the next day or so.

The former Republican senator from Nebraska needed at least 60 votes to clear Tuesday’s procedural hurdle, but only needs a simple majority to be confirmed, which Democrats can deliver with their 55 members, though a handful of Republicans are expected to support him.

It wasn’t immediately clear when Hagel will finally be confirmed, since Senate rules allow a member to delay final action temporarily after debate is ended.

Read more at Politico 

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