In an impassioned floor speech Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he would press ahead on a confirmation vote for defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel on Friday morning, accusing Republicans of playing politics while the nation is at war.
Reid said there has "never in the history of the country been a filibuster of a defense secretary nominee."
“Republicans are telling our troops, you can have a leader later,” Reid said. “It sends a terrible signal not only to our military personnel but the world.”
“This isn't high school,” Reid added. He accused Republican senators, fearful of a tea party challenge in a future primary, of trying to polish the conservative credentials on their “résumé.”
Hagel, himself a former Republican senator from Nebraska, is widely believed to have the support of the majority of senators, but some Republicans are demanding he answer additional questions about some of his past work and finances before approving his nomination. He cleared the Senate Armed Services Committee on a party-line vote.