Hagel has enough support for defence secretary
WASHINGTON (AP) - Chuck Hagel has secured the necessary votes for the Senate to confirm him to be the next US defence secretary barring any new, damaging information, and a vote ending the bitter fight over President Barack Obama's Cabinet choice is expected next week.
Hagel cleared the threshold when 30-year veteran Republican Senator Richard Shelby said he would vote for the fellow Republican and former senator after joining other party members last week in an unprecedented delaying maneuver of the Pentagon nominee.
Republicans have been critical of the Hagel, charging he is not sufficiently pro-Israel and tough on Iran.
"He's probably as good as we're going to get," Shelby told an Alabama newspaper.