Chuck Hagel of Nebraska was blocked from confirmation as U.S. Secretary of Defense Thursday, falling two votes short of what is needed for the Senate to cast an up or down vote. Sen. Mike Johanns was one of four Republican Senators who joined Democrats. Sen. Deb Fischer voted no. The vote was 58-40. Sixty votes were needed.
Hagel was nominated by President Barack Obama. Controversy has grown, with critics saying he is too outspoken, too independent and his financial dealings are questionable.
Hagel, a decorated Vietnam veteran, has said that the Iraq War is one of the five biggest blunders in U.S. history.
Hagel was born in North Platte in 1946. He grew up in northern and western Nebraska, as his father worked at a handful of lumber companies over the years. Hagel served two terms in the Senate, choosing not to run for reelection in 2007. He has taught at Georgetown University since then, in addition to serving on the President's Intelligence Advisory Board as well as the boards of directors of the Chevron corporation and the Public Broadcasting System.
Democrats say they will bring back the nomination in a few days.
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