Senator Jim Inhofe posted on his Facebook page and also has sent a letter letter urging members to vote against confirming former Senator Chuck Hagel (R–NE) for Defense Secretary. This letter follows on the heels of the letter from a group of 14 Senators urging President Obama to withdraw the nomination.
Three days until the Senate reconvenes to vote on Hagel as the next Secretary of Defense. At a time when terrorism remains a real and growing threat, Congress must determine the right person to lead the DoD by reviewing the person’s fundamental view of America’s role in the world and the person’s assessment of the military required to support the role. From reviewing Hagel’s Senate record on the issue of terrorism, these characteristics come into question.
In 2007, he voted against a resolution designating Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps – a group responsible for killing American soldiers in the Middle East – a terrorist organization. In 2006, he was one of 12 Senators who refused to petition the EU to identify Hezbollah as a terrorist group. In 2003, he failed to vote on the Syrian Accountability Act authorizing sanctions on Syria for its support of terrorism and occupation of Lebanon.
On Monday, the Senate will return to revisit Hagel’s nomination. I hope the extra time voted to review his record has provided the necessary means for Senators to make a very critical decision on the future of our military and national security. Senator Inhofe Facebook
Senator James Inhofe (R–OK) has sent a letter urging members to vote against confirming former Senator Chuck Hagel (R–NE) for Defense Secretary. This letter follows on the heels of the letter from a group of 14 Senators urging President Obama to withdraw the nomination.
The Senate returns from recess Monday, February 25, and the Senate will have to first vote for cloture on the filibuster against Hagel’s confirmation. The vote is expected to take place no later than Wednesday. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D–NV) has refused to make the Hagel confirmation a super-majority vote, meaning that just 51 Senators need to be in support in order to break the filibuster.
Yet, Inhofe argues persuasively that a 60-vote threshold (or super-majority vote) for Hagel would have been appropriate given the controversial nature of this nomination. This has already been applied to two controversial cabinet-level nominations during President Obama’s time in office—the 2009 nomination of Kathleen Sebelius to be Secretary of Health and Human Services and the 2011 nomination of John Bryson to be Secretary of Commerce. It would also have been appropriate in this case.
The main points of Inhofe’s oppositions are:
- Hagel’s support of global nuclear disarmament in the “Nuclear Zero” report, which he is refusing to disavow;
- Disparaging comments made by Hagel and lack of support for U.S. ally Israel;
- Lack of management experience at a time when the Pentagon faces debilitating budget cuts;
- Advocacy of engagement with Iran and opposition to sanctions; and
- Softness on terrorism, specifically refusing to accept Iran’s Revolutionary Guard as a sponsor of terrorism.
“I know the Senate has traditionally deferred to the President on Cabinet nominations,” writes Inhofe. “However, our nation is at war. The Senate must insist on confirming only the most effective leaders, not only to keep our nation safe, but to ensure our service members receive the leadership they deserve. Unfortunately, I firmly believe Senator Hagel’s well-established record does not meet this essential requirement for confirmation.”
Many would agree.