Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Filibuster busted; Hegal confirmed 58-41 as Defense Sec'y; vote: 54 Dems plus Cochran (MS), Johanns (NE), Shelby (AL) and Rand (KY); Fischer votes against fellow Nebraskan

Today, 53 Democrats were joined by 18 Republicans to overwhelming end the filibuster against Hagel, clearing the way for an up/down vote. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) blasted GOP obstructionists, who included Nebraska's junior senator, Deb Fischer, who is already proving herself to be a doctrinaire, hardball ideologue who has turned her back on campaign promises to embrace bipartisanship:

“His record of service to this country is untarnished; 12 days later, President Obama’s support for his qualified nominee is still strong; 12 days later, the majority of senators still support his confirmation. Senate Republicans have delayed for the better part of two weeks for one reason: partisanship,”

Hagel had a dismal Senate record on gay rights, opposed in 1998 the confirmation of Jim Hormel as U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg because he was “openly, aggressively gay,” and later supported Amendment 416 in Nebraska, which constitutionally outlawed marriage equality, civil unions and domestic partnerships.
     Despite all that, the Washington Blade reported that he got the vote of  lesbian Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), who said she had a “very good conversation” with him and would support his nomination. Last month, Baldwin said she had “tough questions” about his view of the post-”Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” military.

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