Hagel approved for Defense in sharply split Senate vote

The Senate confirmed Chuck Hagel as defense secretary on Tuesday after he survived a bruising struggle with Republicans

After escaping a filibuster from members of his own party, Mr. Hagel, a former Republican senator from Nebraska, prevailed in a 58-to-41 vote— the smallest margin for a defense secretary since the position was created in 1947, according to Senate records. Fifty-two Democrats, two independents and four Republicans backed Mr. Hagel, and 41 Republicans opposed him, the New York Times reports.

Hours before the final vote on Mr. Hagel, the Senate Finance Committee approved the nomination of Jacob J. Lew as Treasury secretary on a 19-to-5 vote. Attention is now turning to the coming vote by the Senate Intelligence Committee on the president’s nominee as C.I.A. director, John O. Brennan.

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