February 26, 2013
The Senate confirmed Chuck Hagel as President Barack Obama’s new secretary of defense on Tuesday, after an unusually acrimonious confirmation fight that threatened to complicate his work as civilian leader at the Pentagon.
The Senate voted 58-41 to confirm the former Republican senator, the closest vote ever to approve a defense secretary.
Just four Republicans – Mike Johanns of Nebraska, who holds Hagel’s old Senate seat, Thad Cochran of Mississippi, Richard Shelby of Alabama and Rand Paul of Kentucky – joined the Democrats and independents in support of Hagel’s nomination.
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