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WASHINGTON: Republican Senator John McCain yesterday said that his former colleague Chuck Hagel was not qualified to be US defence secretary but the Senate would likely vote on his nomination rather than hold it up with procedural hurdles.
Before going on a weeklong recess, Republican lawmakers succeeded in delaying a Senate vote on Hagel’s nomination earlier this month. Hagel is expected to win confirmation if a vote is held because Democrats control 55 votes in the 100-seat Senate.
“I do not believe that Chuck Hagel, who is a friend of mine, is qualified to be secretary of defence,” McCain of Arizona said on CNN’s “State of the Union” show. Hagel’s nomination was likely to go for a vote in the Senate “barring some additional revelation,” he said.
Republicans are demanding more information from the administration related to the attacks on US facilities in Benghazi, Libya, last year. “I don’t want to put a hold on anybody, but the American people deserve answers about Benghazi. There are so many questions that are still out there, including what was the president doing the night Benghazi happened?” McCain said.