King Backs Hagel

By: The Associated Press Email
By: The Associated Press Email

Maine Sen. Angus King sees no reason to oppose former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel's nomination for defense secretary until confirmation hearings are finished, saying Thursday there is not "a strong disqualifying element or quality to the nominee."

The newly elected senator, an independent, serves as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, which is scheduled to hold a confirmation hearing on January 31st.

A handful of Republicans have expressed their opposition to Hagel, a Republican who served two terms as senator from Nebraska. Democrats have been slow to embrace Hagel as well, but appear to be warming to the president's pick to replace Leon Panetta as Pentagon chief.

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