US Senate clears way for Hagel confirmation

Vote comes two weeks after Republicans launched filibuster to block Chuck Hagel's nomination for secretary of defence.

    Hagel angered Republican leaders by criticising former President George W Bush's handling of Iraq war [Reuters]
    Hagel angered Republican leaders by criticising former President George W Bush's handling of Iraq war [Reuters]

    The US Senate has cleared the way for the likely confirmation of Chuck Hagel as President Barack Obama's new secretary of defence.

    The Senate voted 71-27 on Tuesday to end debate and move forward, almost two weeks after Republicans launched a filibuster to block Hagel's nomination.

    It was the first time such a procedural tactic had been used to delay consideration of a nominee for secretary of defence.

    More than 15 Republicans joined with Democrats to open the way for a vote by the full Senate, now scheduled for later on Tuesday.

    The Democratic majority, joined by at least three Republicans, is expected to approve the nomination when the issue gets to the floor.

    Many Republicans have fiercely opposed Hagel, a former Republican senator from Nebraska who angered party leaders when he criticised former President George W Bush's handling of the Iraq war.

    Some have also raised questions about whether Hagel is sufficiently supportive of Israel or tough enough on Iran.


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Meet the deported nurse aiding asylum seekers at US-Mexico border

    Meet the deported nurse helping refugees at the border

    Francisco 'Panchito' Olachea drives a beat-up ambulance around Nogales, taking care of those trying to get to the US.

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    How a homegrown burger joint pioneered a food revolution and decades later gave a young, politicised class its identity.

    'We will cut your throats': The anatomy of Greece's lynch mobs

    The brutality of Greece's racist lynch mobs

    With anti-migrant violence hitting a fever pitch, victims ask why Greek authorities have carried out so few arrests.