Confirmation hearings for Chuck Hagel begin Thursday in Washington, D.C. President Obama nominated the former Nebraska senator as the next U.S. Defense Secretary.
Thursday’s hearings will begin at 8:30 a.m. Central Time before the Senate Armed Services Committee. Nebraska Sen. Deb Fisher is a member of that committee.
Two former chairmen of the Senate Armed Services Committee, a Democrat and a Republican, will formally introduce Hagel. Former senators Sam Nunn of Georgia and John Warner of Virginia are also expected to make a presentation.
Some of those who have expressed concern about Hagel’s nomination have pointed to his past statements on Iran. Several senators who have met with Hagel to discuss his nomination say they are now satisfied.
The Senate Armed Services Committee presented Hagel with a 112-page questionnaire. In it, he said the “window is closing” on Iran. He said if Iran continues to ignore international demands to end its pursuit of a nuclear weapon also diminishes the possibility of a diplomatic solution.
Hagel said Iran needs to show that it is prepared to negotiate seriously and would face “severe and growing consequences” if it continues to flout the international community.