Published February 26, 2013
The Senate plans to vote once again on Chuck Hagel's nomination for Defense secretary, with supporters aiming to clear a procedural hurdle after Republicans blocked the nominee in a historic filibuster earlier this month.
According to a Senate Democratic leadership aide, the Senate plans to hold the test vote Tuesday at noon. If Hagel clears the 60-vote threshold, a final vote would likely be scheduled by Wednesday.
The second attempt comes after Senate Republicans blocked Hagel on Feb. 14, marking the first time the chamber had successfully filibustered a Cabinet nominee. Republicans voiced lingering concerns about Hagel's record, but for the most part held up the nomination over demands for more information from the Obama administration on the Sept. 11 Libya attacks.
Some Republicans have indicated that, while they oppose Hagel, they would be willing to allow an up-or-down vote -- which requires only a simple majority. If that happens, Democrats have the numbers to approve Hagel for the Pentagon.
Before the stalled vote on the floor, a bitterly divided Senate Armed Services Committee voted to approve Hagel on a 14-11 vote. The committee's Republicans were unified in opposition to their onetime colleague.
Hagel has faced intense opposition from Republicans, who have challenged his past statements and votes on Israel, Iran, Iraq and nuclear weapons. They continue to seek remarks from his lesser-known speeches.
Meanwhile, another prominent Obama nominee -- Jack Lew, his pick for Treasury secretary -- is expected to face a vote on the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday.
Democratic Sen. Max Baucus of Montana says Lew has answered the committee's questions "in a thorough and fully transparent manner" and the committee has conducted a "thorough review" of the nominee.
Lew would succeed Timothy Geithner in Obama's second-term Cabinet.
Some of the toughest questions he faced during his confirmation hearing dealt with his short time at Citibank. Lew was a top executive during the height of the financial crisis.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.