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BREAKING: Senate Republicans Make History, First To Filibuster Defense Secretary Nominee

1:42 am - 02/15/2013
BREAKING: Senate Republicans Make History, First To Filibuster Defense Secretary Nominee

Senate Republicans today chose to uphold a filibuster against Secretary of Defense nominee Chuck Hagel, despite many of them previously pledging that they would be willing to allow him to be confirmed.

Sens. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Jeff Sessions (R-AL), and John Cornyn (R-TX) all voted against cloture, despite their pleas during the Bush administration that a president’s Cabinet nominees should receive an up-or-down vote.

Four Republicans, Sens. Thad Cochran (R-MS), Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Mike Johanns (R-NE), voted to break the filibuster. The final vote was 58-40, with Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) voting present, Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) not voting at all, and Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) voting “no” as a procedural move so that he can bring another vote to the floor at a later date.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) had originally scheduled the cloture vote for tomorrow morning, but surprised many by pushing it up to this afternoon. Earlier today, Reid took to the Senate floor to lambaste his Republican colleagues for delaying an up-or-down vote on Hagel, the first filibuster of a Secretary of Defense nominee.

Prior to the roll call’s beginning, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) attempted to explain that the vote that was set to take place was the vote “to confirm Chuck Hagel,” rather than merely being a procedural vote. Inhofe also claimed that a 60-vote margin was common practice, rendering the actions of the Republicans not a filibuster. However, the motion was still filed by Reid as cloture — the ending of debate — rather than the actual confirmation of Hagel, as laid out be Levin before voting. This leaves the door open for Hagel’s nomination to remain on the Senate floor and renders the GOP’s actions a filibuster under the Senate’s rules.

While Senate Republicans are opposed to voting on Hagel today, they seem to believe that they’ll change their minds after the Senate returns from its President’s Day recess in 10 days. This morning, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said that he expected to be willing to move Hagel forward at that time, “unless there’s some bombshell that he likes blood sucking vampires.” Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and John McCain (R-AZ) said roughly the same thing today, leaving their votes against Hagel today confusing.

The hope for such a bombshell emerging seems far less than likely. A speech given by Hagel in 2008 that conservatives have long-sought as evidence that Hagel falls far outside of the mainstream was released today, turning out to be a dud. Likewise right-wing implications that Hagel was secretly being backed by a group called “Friends of Hamas” also proved to be utterly false, fabricated on a far-right media outlet.

After today’s filibuster, the Senate will reconsider Hagel after their break. While today’s vote showed that the GOP was willing to obstruct and delay, they ultimately will be unable to do this forever. In the end, Hagel still possesses more than the majority vote needed for final passage.


OP: There ya go! Republican's willing to go where this gov't has yet to go...

blackjedii 15th-Feb-2013 12:26 pm (UTC)
Because having a tantrum over a black man beating you - again - and punishing someone who decided to stray off "The Right Path of Rightness" is far more important than us having a Secretary of State, yanno.
serendipity_15 15th-Feb-2013 03:14 pm (UTC)
John Kerry has been working as Secretary of State for about two weeks now, Hagel is the nominee for Secretary of Defense.

But yeah, they are definitely throwing a tantrum.
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furrygreen 15th-Feb-2013 06:31 pm (UTC)
Well, this is the first time its been done, which is why the article has been written and has been getting so much attention.
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kitanabychoice 15th-Feb-2013 02:52 pm (UTC)
I, for one, am totally and completely surprised.
furrygreen 15th-Feb-2013 06:32 pm (UTC)
I can't if you're being sarcastic or not. XD My bat senses have flown out the window.
ragnor144 15th-Feb-2013 03:54 pm (UTC)
Basically Republicans are being whiny children in delaying the vote on Hagel. They wanted to call their actions something other than a filibuster but that is what it is and that is what Reid called it. They will vote to confirm him after they come back from break unless someone can dig up something really damaging. Net result is likely nothing except to highlight what immature brats Republican are.
aviv_b 15th-Feb-2013 03:38 pm (UTC)
Reid, you got sucker punched by the Repugs. They are no more willing to cooperate now than they were before you passed those toothless filibuster reforms. Time to introduce some real reform.
serendipity_15 15th-Feb-2013 03:46 pm (UTC)
They should bring back the requirement to talk on the floor for hours on end. If you want to block something that's fine. BUT YOU HAVE TO WORK FOR IT.
thecityofdis 15th-Feb-2013 04:15 pm (UTC)
I hope the Democrats have the stones to remember this under the next Republican administration. "Oh, you want to play rough? K."
miss_almost 15th-Feb-2013 04:54 pm (UTC)
so much this.
wrestlingdog 15th-Feb-2013 09:22 pm (UTC)
Well played!
omgangiepants 15th-Feb-2013 07:50 pm (UTC)
alexvdl 15th-Feb-2013 08:26 pm (UTC)
Is going to where the government has yet to go a bad thing? I mean, we were all pretty happy about it when the first Asian American senator was elected. I'm pretty glad that Congress didn't just just rubberstamp the flag list when Navy brass tried force out Rickover.

It's not like we don't have a SecDef right now. This is just more political maneuvering.
furrygreen 15th-Feb-2013 08:44 pm (UTC)
I mean, we were all pretty happy about it when the first Asian American senator was elected.

This is two completely separate things that aren't related to each other in any way, shape, or form.
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wrestlingdog 15th-Feb-2013 09:31 pm (UTC)
mercaque 16th-Feb-2013 12:19 am (UTC)
Bestworst of all, John McCain admitted to Fox News that the Republican filibuster was sheer payback because Hagel criticized George W. Bush over the Iraq war. McCain's quote, posted without comment by the New York Times:

There’s a lot of ill will towards Senator Hagel because when he was a Republican, he attacked President Bush mercilessly. At one point, he said he was the worst president since Herbert Hoover, said the surge was the worst blunder since the Vietnam War, which is nonsense. He was very ‘anti ‘his own party, and people don’t forget that.

Get it? We don't have a key Cabinet appointment because sour grapes. The end. And McCain must have some of the sourest grapes of all, being that he sold out all pretenses of being a "maverick" and got absolutely nothing for it... while Hagel, who stuck to being an ACTUAL maverick at the cost of his own career, is about to be rewarded with a position that surpasses not only McCain himself, but McCain's daddy and granddaddy the admirals too.
schexyschteve 16th-Feb-2013 12:30 am (UTC)
underlankers 16th-Feb-2013 04:13 am (UTC)
Why would people who believe government is the problem run for office in the very thing they believe is the problem? Why do people vote people in knowing they advocate said nonsense?
alexvdl 16th-Feb-2013 05:08 pm (UTC)
So they can change the system.
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