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Hagel confirmed as next US secretary of defence

Published on Feb 27, 2013 7:03 AM
 
Former US Senator Chuck Hagel testifies during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on his nomination to be Defence Secretary, on Capitol Hill in Washington, in this Jan 31, 2013 file photo. The US Senate finally confirmed Chuck Hagel to be secretary of defence on Tuesday, ending an acrimonious nominations process and handing President Barack Obama a boost as he fills his second-term cabinet. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The US Senate finally confirmed Chuck Hagel to be secretary of defence on Tuesday, ending an acrimonious nominations process and handing President Barack Obama a boost as he fills his second-term cabinet.

After Mr Hagel's bruising confirmation hearing and a 10-day delay thrown up by Republicans, Senators voted 58-41 to confirm the former Republican senator and decorated Vietnam War veteran to replace outgoing Pentagon chief Leon Panetta.

Mr Hagel, 66, is likely to be sworn in on Wednesday.

Four Republicans - surprisingly including tea party-backed Senator Rand Paul - joined the majority Democrats in approving Mr Hagel, compared with the 18 Republicans who had voted earlier in the day to overcome the blocking tactics and allow a full vote.

 
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