Hagel confirmation hits stumbling block

Harry Reid came up a couple of votes short in his bid to force Chuck Hagel's nomination to be Secretary of Defense to the floor of the Senate. The 58 votes to shut down the filibuster came up two short of the necessary 60 to move the nomination. Now what? The Republicans say they are willing to give the president an up or down vote later in the month - at which point he will almost certainly be confirmed. But they want some additional answers from Hagel on his finances. Washington Post: Another Hagel vote is scheduled for Feb. 26, when the Senate returns from a 10-day break. That vote is also likely to require 60 votes to move to confirmation. But senior Republicans said that their Thursday blockade probably will be over by then and that they will allow confirmation at some point. Minority Leader Mitch Mc­Connell (R-Ky.) - who has gone several days without saying anything publicly about Hagel - has deputized Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) as the weather vane by which to judge when...(Read Full Post)