Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, issued a statement Monday endorsing former Sen. Chuck Hagel as President Obama's nominee to lead the Defense Department.
I’ve served with Senator Hagel and I know him to be a person of great ability and integrity. On the Appropriations Committee those of us charged with handling the Senate’s work on the Pentagon budget will have to make more than a hundred billion dollars in cuts to begin with, and it will be good to work with someone like Chuck Hagel who can lead the Pentagon during a difficult time of transition.
He is a combat veteran who still carries shrapnel in his body from his wounds – he will not need on-the-job training. I will support his nomination with enthusiasm, and I have passed that on to the President.