McCain expects Hagel confirmation this week

Senate Republicans initially filibustered the nomination from proceeding to the up-and-down vote

By Prachi Gupta

Published February 24, 2013 5:20PM (EST)

Sen. John McCain said on this morning's "State of the Union" that he expects that former Sen. Chuck Hagel will be confirmed as U.S. Secretary of Defense this week. The Republican senator said, "The president deserves an up-or-down-vote. Now Democrats will say, 'We've never done that before, well they have, and they did with [John] Bolton and John Tower and others. But that doesn't mean that we shouldn't give Chuck Hagel an up-or-down vote, and we should."

"I think it will happen, barring some additional revelation concerning his comments about Israel and all those other unfortunate things he's said in the past," McCain said.

McCain's comment is not necessarily an endorsement of Hagel, however. On last week's "Meet The Press," McCain said of his former ally, "I don’t believe he is qualified, but I don’t believe that we should hold up his nomination any further because I think it is a reasonable amount of time to have questions answered.”

The Senate Republicans blocked Hagel's nomination from receiving the final up-or-down vote on Thursday, Feb. 14. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid chastised Republicans for the block, cited it as the first filibuster of a Defense nominee in history.

Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at

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Chuck Hagel Defense Secretary Filibuster Harry Reid John Mccain Up Or Down Vote