The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

February 25, 2013

Hagel appears headed for confirmation this week

WASHINGTON —

As Congress returns to Washington this week, Chuck Hagel appears on track to be confirmed as defense secretary by a deeply divided Senate.

Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who opposes the nomination, said Sunday that Hagel, who has enough support to win approval if Republicans abandon their delaying tactics, would get a confirmation vote. That vote could take place as early as Tuesday.

“I think it will happen barring some additional revelation concerning his comments about Israel and all those other really unfortunate things he’s said in the past,” McCain said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Hagel’s former Republican colleagues contend that he has been too critical of Israel and not critical enough of Iran. In addition, his support for some Democratic candidates has infuriated the GOP.

Before the Senate began its current, 10-day recess, Republicans succeeded in blocking a confirmation vote on the nomination of Hagel, a former Republican senator from Nebraska, by forcing his supporters to find 60 votes. Democrats fell one short.

A majority of senators, virtually all of them Democrats, say they support Hagel’s confirmation.

Last week, 15 Republican senators — but not McCain — called on President Barack Obama to withdraw the nomination.

“I do not believe that Chuck Hagel, who is a friend of mine, is qualified to be secretary of defense,” McCain said Sunday. But he added, with a laugh, that he did not sign the letter because “I do believe that elections have consequences — unfortunately. And the president of the United States was re-elected.”

McCain, who lost to Obama in the 2008 presidential election, said he believes that presidents deserve a Senate vote on their Cabinet nominees. In that election, Hagel offered tacit support for Obama.

McCain was less definitive about the immediate prospects for the confirmation of John Brennan, the White House counterterrorism adviser nominated by Obama to head the CIA. McCain and other Republicans are demanding more information from the White House as a price for allowing the nomination to go forward. In particular, they want more detail about the administration’s response to the terrorist attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, last Sept. 11 that left four Americans dead, including the U.S. ambassador.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
State, national news
  • Injured snowy owl ready to be released ST. PAUL (AP) — A rare snowy owl that gained national attention when it was apparently hit by a bus in the nation's capital is scheduled to be released into the wild after a rehab stint in Minnesota. The Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota

    April 18, 2014

  • Court case to test 'Buy the Farm' law NEW PRAGUE (AP) — A case set for trial next week is expected to test Minnesota's "Buy the Farm" law, which is meant to require utilities building high-voltage power lines to buy out farms in the way if affected landowners demand it. The case pits th

    April 18, 2014

  • Judge strikes down part of state energy law MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A federal judge ruled Friday that part of a Minnesota law designed to promote the use of renewable energy is unconstitutional because it attempts to control business that takes place outside state borders — and she barred Minnesota

    April 18, 2014

  • White House updating online privacy policy A new Obama administration privacy policy released Friday explains how the government will gather the user data of online visitors to WhiteHouse.gov, mobile apps and social media sites, and it clarifies that online comments, whether tirades or tribut

    April 18, 2014

  • Horse virus cases showing up in Upper Midwest BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — State officials in the Upper Midwest are cautioning horse owners about a virus that spreads easily among the animals and can lead to breathing problems, abortions and nervous system disorders. Three cases of equine herpesvirus

    April 18, 2014

  • Bear attacks spark debate: Kill them, or leave them alone? ORLANDO, Fla.—Dallas Smith thinks he has the answer to Central Florida’s black-bear threat, and he’s ready to lock and load it. “I think the fear of God needs to be put back into them,” said Smith, 47, who wants state authorities to lift restriction

    April 18, 2014

  • Tourism push plays up 'Only in Minnesota' ST. PAUL — (AP) — Say goodbye to "More to Explore." Minnesota tourism promoters ushered in a new slogan Thursday that focuses on "Only in Minnesota" experiences as part of their largest-ever advertising campaign. The revamped message kicks off a maj

    April 17, 2014

  • mfp ap pipeline photo Minnesota Pipe Line seeks to expand capacity MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota Pipe Line Co. announced plans Thursday to nearly double the capacity of a crude oil pipeline that carries oil from Canada and North Dakota to the two refineries in the Twin Cities that produce most of Minnesota's and much

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Holder asserts his commitment to fighting heroin WASHINGTON — Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has been crusading for more lenient treatment for nonviolent drug offenders, making it a top priority before he is expected to leave office this year. Recently, however, he has been forced to confront

    April 17, 2014

  • Less-schooled whites lose longevity, study finds ATLANTA — Barbara Gentry slowly shifts her heavy frame out of a chair and uses a walker to move the dozen feet to a chair not far from the pool table at the Buford Senior Center. Her hair is white and a cough sometimes interrupts her speech, but she

    April 17, 2014

Press-Plus Subscribe
Sign In
Featured Ads
AP Video