Senate confirms Hagel to lead Pentagon

(Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)

(Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)

The Senate on Tuesday confirmed former Nebraska senator Chuck Hagel to head the Defense Department.

Fifty-four Democrats and just four Republicans voted in favor of confirming the Vietnam War veteran, who was once considered a maverick within the Republican party.

GOP lawmakers have criticized Hagel’s views on Middle East security and the administration’s handling of an attack on a U.S. consulate in Libya.

For more information about Hagel’s confirmation and the foreign-policy victory it represents for President Obama, see the full story by Washington Post reporter Paul Kane.

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