Republican Chuck Hagel, President Obama's choice for defense secretary, testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee during his confirmation hearing, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee says the panel plans to vote on Chuck Hagel's nomination to be defense secretary Tuesday afternoon.
Sen. Carl Levin said Monday in a statement that the panel will meet Tuesday afternoon and he intends to vote after committee discussion. The announcement by the Michigan Democrat comes despite Republican objections to moving forward on President Barack Obama's pick to succeed Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.
The committee had been expected to vote last Thursday.
This vote would come just hours before Obama's State of the Union address.