Politics
4:23 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Blunt Has 'Concerns' About Hagel's Defense Nomination

As a new appointee on the Senate Armed Services Committee, Republican Roy Blunt of Missouri will have a say in the nomination of former Senator Chuck Hagel to Secretary of Defense.

Blunt will join Democrat Claire McCaskill on the committee that will oversee Hagel's hearing.

Hagel has solicited the ire of many conservatives for his prior statements on Israel. While he served in Congress, Hagel stated that he was a United States Senator, not “an Israeli Senator.”

Blunt and his fellow Republicans are concerned he won't be a close enough ally to Israel.

“My concerns are well documented - they're statements he's made and they are not unique to me," Blunt told reporters while he was at Boeing in St. Louis. "But I'm going to let him explain them to me before I make a final decision.”

Blunt did, however, add that Hagel is a "combat hero" and that he likes the idea of a Secretary of Defense who has combat experience.

Missouri's Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill also serves on the Armed Services Committee and has previously said she's eager to give Hagel a fair hearing.

Follow Chris McDaniel on Twitter@csmcdaniel

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