President Barack Obama's nominee for secretary of defense & former U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) stands during a meeting with U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) February 7, 2013 on Capitol Hill in …
Photographer: Alex Wong/Getty Images
WASHINGTON - Republicans have, for now, blocked Chuck Hagel's nomination to become defense secretary.
The Senate came up two votes short of the 60 needed to move Hagel's nomination forward as lawmakers prepare to leave town for a week's break. Democrats hold a 55-45 edge in the Senate.
Republicans had been blocking the confirmation of their former colleague and Vietnam veteran until they received information from the White House on President Barack Obama's actions during the attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya.
The White House responded to that request earlier Thursday, saying Obama spoke with Libyans a day after the attack.
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