Chuck Hagel clears filibuster hurdle, headed for confirmation vote

(J. Scott Applewhite/AP) (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

Chuck Hagel cleared the 60-vote threshold needed to overcome a Republican filibuster that was blocking his bid to become the next defense secretary.

The Senate voted 71 to 27 to bring the Cabinet pick’s confirmation to a final vote, which is likely to happen Tuesday afternoon. Eighteen Republicans joined 53 Democrats in affirming the move.

Some GOP leaders object to the former Republican senator’s views on Middle East security. But those Republican lawmakers, including Sens. John McCain (Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), agreed Tuesday to let the issue come to a vote.

For more about this issue and the foreign-policy victory it represents for President Obama, see the full story on the Tuesday vote.

Josh Hicks covers Maryland politics and government. He previously anchored the Post’s Federal Eye blog, focusing on federal accountability and workforce issues.

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Josh Hicks · February 26, 2013