Murkowski Statement on Hagel Vote

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Lisa Murkowski today released the following statement after she voted to end debate and proceed to a final vote on Secretary of Defense nominee Chuck Hagel:

            “I recognize that many of my Republican colleagues have unanswered questions about Chuck Hagel and I understand their reasoning for not advancing this to a ‘yes or no’ vote.  Given the fact he was moved out of committee just two days ago – and on a party line vote – I don’t believe it was unreasonable to ask for more time to fully consider his nomination.  I also share their frustration that an agreement to avoid today’s vote and provide a limited period of time to gain information and answers was rejected by the Senate Majority Leader.

            “However, it has been my long-standing belief and general rule that Cabinet nominees deserve an ‘up or down’ vote, regardless of whether we have a Republican or Democrat in the White House.  My vote today reflected just that.

            “We will now take up the nomination of Chuck Hagel when we return the last week in February.  Between my personal meeting with Senator Hagel and his unsteady performance in his confirmation hearing, I am not convinced that he is the right person to run the Department of Defense.

”I am not inclined to support his nomination because of his grasp and vision on the key questions of our time: Iran, complexities in the Middle East, and the constant threat of terror networks. I have a responsibility to Alaskans to hear their thoughts about Senator Hagel during my Presidents’ Day work week back home, and I look forward to gauging their opinion.”