Senate Republicans in a 58-40 vote Thursday blocked former Sen. Chuck Hagelâ€™s (R-Neb.) nomination as Defense secretary from proceeding to a final up-or-down vote.
Four Republicans â€” Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), Thad Cochran (Miss.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Mike Johanns (Neb.)â€”Â joined 55 Democrats and Independents in supporting the nomination. Sixty votes were needed to cut off debate, leaving Democrats one vote short.Â The final 58-40 tally reflected a no vote from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who switched his vote from yes to preserve his ability to bring up the nomination again.
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) voted present and Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) missed the vote.
Republicans said it was too early to clear Hagelâ€™s nomination, but that they would consider allowing an up-or-down vote after the Senate returns to business on Feb. 25.
They blamed Democrats for rushing the vote and the White House for not providing additional information about Hagelâ€™s compensation for paid speeches.