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Chuck Hagel nomination scheduled for Tuesday committee vote

1:40 PM, Feb 11, 2013   |    comments
Former senator Chuck Hagel speaks at his confirmation hearing on Jan. 31. (Photo: H. Darr Beiser, USA TODAY)
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WASHINGTON -- The chairman of the Senate's Armed Services Committee plans to put the nomination of Chuck Hagel, President Obama's choice for Defense secretary, to a vote on Tuesday, his office announced.

Republicans on the committee have voiced opposition to the nomination of Hagel, a Republican former senator from Nebraska. Last week, 25 Republican senators sent Levin, D-Mich., a letter demanding that Hagel turn over more financial information before they would consider a vote. In particular, they want to know if he or organizations he has been involved with have received funding from foreign sources.

Levin replied that it would be unprecedented for a nominee to produce more financial information that Hagel had already provided.

On Sunday, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said on CBS that he would block Hagel's nomination unless the White House produced more information about the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in September. Four Americans were killed in that attack, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

Graham had previously demanded that outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testify before the committee about the Benghazi attack. They testified last Thursday.

Republicans also have questioned Hagel's commitment to Israel and his opposition to Iran.

Levin's office said Tuesday's vote would follow discussion by the committee, scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m.

Tom Vanden Brook, USA TODAY

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