Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon (R-CA) on Monday offered a tepid statement on former Sen. Chuck Hagel, President Obama's nominee to lead the Defense Department, notably declining to criticize Hagel's past comments on Israel that many in his party have already taken issue with today.
"If confirmed, it is my sincere hope that Senator Hagel values and honors the longstanding relationship between Congress and the Pentagon," McKeon said in a statement. "I wish him luck as he endeavors to match the important burden required by the office of Secretary."
McKeon chairs the powerful House Armed Services Committee, counterpart to the Senate's Armed Services Committee tasked with presiding over Hagel's confirmation vote in the weeks to come.
(Photo credit: Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call/Newscom)