Levin Moves Toward Hagel Vote Just Before SOTU
Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) intends to bring the nomination of Chuck Hagel before his committee for a vote tomorrow afternoon.
It's both a time when news channels will be immersed in State of the Union previews, and when President Obama will have enough time to add a flogging of Republicans to his speech should his Defense secretary nominee falter.
Levin will call the committee into an open meeting at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, allowing discussion among the Armed Services members before a vote that could send the nomination to the full Senate.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), not a fan of the filibuster but willing to use a hold, has vowed to block the nominations of both Hagel and CIA nominee John Brennan until he gets a more detailed accounting of Benghazi from the White House.
"I want to know who changed the talking points. Who took the references to Al Qaida out of the talking points given to Susan Rice? We still don't know. Richard Burr and Saxby Chambliss have found e-mails discussing changing the talking points. So I think her story, after what we found out at this hearing, was incredibly misleading," Graham said Sunday on CBS' Face the Nation.
"I want to know what our president did. What did he do as commander in chief? Did he ever pick up the phone and call anybody? I think this is stuff that the country needs to know. We pushed back against Bush. We asked for Rumsfeld to resign when Iraq went into shambles. This is a national security failure of monumental proportions and I'm not going to stop until we get to the bottom of it."