Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) on Wednesday said that Republicans may have the requisite votes in the Senate to delay the nomination of Chuck Hagel to serve as the next defense secretary, arguing that "it's too quick to end the debate on this nomination."
Attending an event hosted by Politico, Blunt said he thinks there are already 40 votes in the Senate to delay debate on the nomination — one shy of the 41 necessary to keep Hagel from earning the 60 votes he may need to be confirmed. Republicans like Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) have threatened to use procedural tactics that would preclude a simple majority of 51 senators from confirming Hagel. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said Tuesday that he won't honor any holds placed on Hagel's nomination. Blunt noted that Republicans have sought more financial disclosures from Hagel.
“I don’t think we’ll move forward for a few days on that,” Blunt said. “And there’s been requests for more information. I think ultimately Senator Hagel will provide that information.”
Hagel's nomination passed out the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday on a party-line vote of 14-11.