Senate Democrats Delay Hagel Vote After Desperate And Unprecedented GOP Stall Tactics

Senate Armed Services Committee chair Carl Levin (D-MI) will reportedly delay the committee’s vote on Chuck Hagel’s nomination to be the next Secretary of Defense. Republicans are demanding that Hagel produce the texts of private speeches he made and disclose the financial dealings of private companies he is associated with. A spokesperson for Levin told ThinkProgress that the committee is “working on their concerns.”

The vote was expected to take place as early as Thursday, but Republicans — led by Sens. James Inhofe (R-OK) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) — asked that the vote be delayed after Hagel — citing legal and logistics issues — said he could not give the them everything they’re asking for.

“It’s up in the air,” the committee staffer told Politico. “Levin isn’t interested in pushing it through against their will. We’re trying to resolve their concerns, and hopefully we can get it addressed by tomorrow,” a committee staffer told Politico on Wednesday.

But now it seems like those concerns won’t be met and it’s unclear just how they can or should be addressed at all, seeing that Hagel has said he doesn’t have the texts of all his private speeches and the business dealings of private companies and organizations Hagel is affiliated with is, as the Atlantic’s Steve Clemons points out, “going to be a really fun slippery slope”:

The entangled relationships of all US senators and spouses would be screened to see what they might be able to cough up about firms they have some connection to but don’t run.

I don’t think we should go down that road — but if Senator Cruz compels it, it should be interesting.

“The committee’s vote on Senator Hagel’s nomination has not been scheduled,” Levin said today in a statement. “I had hoped to hold a vote on the nomination this week, but the committee’s review of the nomination is not yet complete. I intend to schedule a vote on the nomination as soon as possible.”

“If we’re really going to go down this route,” TPM’s Josh Marshall writes, “is it time to air the fact that AEI is partly funded by secret grants by the Taiwanese government (at least as of mid-last decade)?”