U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, joined the call on Senate Republicans to allow a final vote on President Obama’s nomination of Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense.
On Thursday, Senate Republicans in a 58-40 vote blocked Hagel’s (R-Neb.) nomination as Defense secretary from proceeding to a final up-or-down vote. Sixty votes were needed to cut off debate.
Hirono said in a statement:
“At a time when the nation lies on the brink of potentially devastating defense cuts and the Asia-Pacific region is seeing growing instability, now is not the time to leave the Department of Defense without a leader. Hawaii and our nation need a Secretary of Defense in that chair as soon as possible. Senator Hagel is a qualified, principled leader who has served with distinction. He would be the first person of enlisted rank to lead the Pentagon. Senator Hagel deserves an up-or-down vote. With our nation’s military facing so many urgent needs, we simply should not have to wait any longer just for the sake of politics.”