Senate Republicans temporarily blocked the nomination of Chuck Hagel as secretary defense on Thursday, mounting enough votes to maintain a filibuster requring 60 votes to proceed to final confirmation. The vote was 58 votes in favor, 40 opposed, and one senator voting "present."
Several Republican senators, including Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), said they planned to vote against cloture this week in order to allow more time to review Hagel's record. They indicated that they would move to end debate, even if ultimately opposed to Hagel, after the Senate returns from the 10-day Presidents' Day recess.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) will try to again move forward on Hagel's nomination on February 26th.
"Democrats will continue to fight for Senator Hagel, and we will reconsider his nomination in the coming days," Reid said in a statement. "Some Republican senators have said that they will change their votes, and allow his nomination to proceed at some point in the future. I will take them at their word, and I will hold them to their pledge.”