With Committee Vote Looming, Conservatives Ramp Up Opposition To Chuck Hagel

Conservatives are hoping enough Republicans will oppose Secretary of State nomination to impose a filibuster. But Sen. John McCain doesn’t agree.

Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

WASHINGTON — The conservative Senate Republican Steering Committee Tuesday circulated a document to justify efforts to block former Sen. Chuck Hagel’s Secretary of State confirmation, insisting the former Republican is breaking with precedent in not providing foreign funding disclosures.

The document entitled “Senator Hagel Must Make Requested Disclosures” notes that Ambassador John Bolton’s nomination to be the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations was filibustered in part over disclosure issues. Republican lawmakers have blasted Hagel for failing to detail any foreign sources of funding for organizations he has worked with or received money from.

Republican lawmakers have been split on whether Hagel’s nomination should be filibustered, with Sen. John McCain outspokenly opposing such efforts. Either way, it appears Hagel will be just the third Cabinet appointee to need a 60-vote threshold to overcome a filibuster for confirmation.

On Fox News Tuesday, Sen. James Inhofe, the top-ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee who has pledged to filibuster Hagel, gave efforts to block the nomination a”55-45” percent chance.

An official working on Hagel’s nomination told BuzzFeed that they have the votes needed to get him confirmed.

“All it takes is 60 votes to prevent a filibuster, and we’re confident we have the numbers,” the official said, calling even attempts “an unprecedented and highly irresponsible thing to do.”

“That’s why you see Senators like John McCain saying Hagel deserves an up or down vote,” the official added. “There are too many important issues going on in the world - including 66,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan - to play these kind of political games with a confirmation that’s going to happen.”

Senator Hagel has gone above and beyond the requirements for disclosure. He has met every single requirement for a nominee. And, in the spirit of cooperation, he has gone beyond those requirements in several areas and repeatedly responded to requests for more information.

Senator Hagel declared in his disclosure forms that he has not received any compensation from or been involved in any financial or business transactions with a foreign government or an entity controlled by a foreign government.

The Senators requested detailed financial information on entities, such as private companies, with which Senator Hagel has been involved. Hagel made clear to the Committee that it is not within his power to release that kind of corporate financial information for entities that are privately owned or held.

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