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Senate leader sets stage for vote on Hagel

  • Article by: RICHARD LARDNER
  • Associated Press
  • February 13, 2013 - 4:15 PM

WASHINGTON - The Senate's top Democrat has set the stage for a full Senate vote by the end of the week on President Barack Obama's nomination of Chuck Hagel to be defense secretary.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid filed a motion on Wednesday to limit debate and force a vote on Hagel's nomination. Democrats hold a 55-45 edge in the Senate and have the numbers to confirm Hagel on a majority vote. But they would need the support of five Republicans before an up-or-down vote on the president's pick to head the Defense Department would be allowed if the GOP decided to filibuster. Republicans have indicated they might delay a vote.

A divided Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday voted to approve Hagel by a 14-11 vote along partisan lines.

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