Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) released the following statement on his opposition to President Obama’s nomination of former Sen. Chuck Hagel as defense secretary and the senator’s decision today to vote against cutting off debate on Hagel’s nomination:
“Chuck Hagel is a patriot, but by virtue of his views and his experience, he is not the right person to lead the world’s largest military organization in these dangerous times,” Alexander said of his intention to vote against Hagel’s confirmation. On today’s vote to end debate, Alexander said, “The majority leader’s motion to cut off debate only two days after an important nomination is reported to the Senate floor is premature, as several senators have asked the nominee questions that deserve more consideration.”
Senator Alexander continued: “When the Senate returns on Feb. 26, there should have been sufficient time to consider Sen. Hagel’s record, so I will vote to end debate because I believe a president’s cabinet members deserve an up-or-down vote.”
Senator Bob Corker made the following statement after voting against ending debate on Chuck Hagel’s nomination to serve as secretary of defense.
“Generally, I believe a president’s cabinet nominee deserves an up-or-down vote in the Senate, but in this case, I believe a number of my colleagues have raised legitimate concerns about information that hasn’t yet been made public and that extending the debate gives more time for these concerns to be addressed. Once sufficient time has passed, I am perfectly open to a 51-vote threshold."