Minutes ago the Senate voted to end the filibuster of Chuck Hagel’s nomination for Secretary of Defense, clearing the way for a formal vote on his confirmation.
The vote was 71-27 to end debate and send the nomination to the Senate for a full vote, which is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. Hagel’s confirmation seems virtually assured, as Democrats control the Senate and none has said publicly they oppose him. Hagel, if approved, will succeed Leon Panetta and immediately inherit a budget crisis. Last week, the Pentagon announced that it plans to furlough the majority of its 800,000 civilian employees to help meet a $46 billion shortfall caused by automatic spending cuts that begin March 1 and its stop-gap budget that prevents shifting funds to urgent needs.
Sen. John McCain was among the Republicans who reversed their earlier votes. And so ends another transparent and failed GOP attempt to block President Obama on any issue. Stand by for Log Cabin’s whiny press release.