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Burr to vote against Hagel as Defense Secretary

WASHINGTON, DC (WWAY) — Chuck Hagel’s nomination for Secretary Defense apparently has solid support from Senate Democrats, but he will not get the vote of a North Carolina Republican.

Today Sen. Richard Burr said after Hagel’s confirmation hearing this week, he will not vote to approve the nomination of his former Senate colleague and fellow Republican.

“Yesterday’s Armed Services Committee hearing on Chuck Hagel’s nomination to be Secretary of Defense confirmed for me many of the concerns I had about the nomination,” Sen. Burr said in a statement. “After reviewing the hearing, and Sen. Hagel’s answers to the questions put to him, it is clear that I cannot support his nomination, and I will vote against his nomination should it reach the Senate floor.”

Republican senators hammered Hagel during his hearing on issues ranging from Israel and Iran to his support for a group that advocates the elimination of nuclear weapons.

Mathematically, Hagel has the edge as he looks to succeed Leon Panetta. Democrats hold a 14-12 advantage on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Committee Chairman Carl Levin of Michigan says the panel could vote as early as next Thursday, contingent on Hagel’s response to some lingering questions. Levin has expressed optimism about Hagel’s prospects.

Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) is a member of the Armed Services Committee. She has not said publicly how she plans to vote on Hagel’s nomination.

(Material from the Associated Press was used in this story)

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