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

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Take a tour through East and West Jerusalem to see the difference in quality of life for Israelis and Palestinians.

    Stories from the sex trade

    Stories from the sex trade

    Dutch sex workers, pimps and johns share their stories.

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    As the stigma associated with being childless persists, some elderly women in India risk it all to become mothers.