WASHINGTON — The White House blasted the Senate Republican filibuster of Sen. Chuck Hagel’s nomination for Secretary of Defense Thursday, calling it “unconscionable.”
“The President stands strongly behind Sen. Hagel,” said Josh Earnest, the principal deputy press secretary, aboard Air Force One. A vote to break the filibuster is scheduled for Friday morning, but as of now it is not clear that Senate Democrats have the votes.
Earnest told reporters that with a NATO defense ministerial meeting coming up next week in Brussels, the United States needs Hagel confirmed. “It’s difficult to explain to our allies exactly why that’s happening,” he said, adding that U.S. troops also deserve a new Secretary of Defense.
“These delays are unconscionable and they should end right away,” he said.
Sen. John McCain had previously said he would not back a filibuster, but has not delayed the vote to procure more documents related to the investigation into the Benghazi attack last year.
“Our efforts to coordinate with the Senate on these issues is evident, to put it mildly,” a frustrated Earnest said, noting that the administration has turned over more than 10,000 documents and participated in hearings and briefings for lawmakers.
He added that current Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta would remain in office until Hagel is confirmed.
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Benghazi conspiracy theorists are no different than birthers.
No amount of evidence will satisfy them, because they need the ability to thump their chests in faux outrage — the steadfast denial of the readily available evidence gives congressional Republicans a rationalization for their blatant obstructionism and political contrarianism.
Let’s be perfectly clear here: The Republican party is set to reject the president’s choice for Secretary of Defense for one primary reason: He doesn’t toe the line when it comes to Israel. In order to be a member of Congress in good standing with the establishment, one must virtually treat the interests of Israel as those of the United States. In some cases, the interests of Israel take precedence. Chuck Hagel, during his time in the Senate, had the sense to proclaim that he represented his state in the Senate, not Israel, and he’s been vilified by the AIPAC brigade ever since. It is unconscionable that the UNITED STATES Congress places the interests of another country over those of its constituencies and its country. The Hagel fiasco is a perfect illustration of that.
Rejecting the President’s choices has a long and bipartisan history in US politics. If a nominee doesn’t meet the standards a politician feels is necessary for the post, there is certainly nothing wrong with attempting to block it. You’re wailing about an incident with Hagel the Senator, but the subject is Hagel as the SecDef. Raising valid questions about his views on a key ally in the DoD’s most volatile area of concern is perfectly valid. Drudging up a story about a Senator’s troubles with a lobbying organization is not only a complete red-herring and non-story. Your objection is intellectually juvenile. Hagel’s stance on Israel aside, the man is not very bright or well-informed on matters that are of critical importance to the position he’s been nominated for.