Sen. Roy Blunt signaled Wednesday that there may be enough votes in the Senate to delay debate on the nomination of Chuck Hagel to lead the Pentagon.
Blunt (R-Mo.) said he believed there were 40 votes in the Senate that indicated “it’s too quick to end the debate on this nomination.”
The GOP, which controls 45 votes in the Senate, would need 41 votes to block former Sen. Hagel from hitting the 60-vote threshold that some Republicans have threatened.
“I don’t think we’ll move forward for a few days on that,” Blunt said at POLITICO’s post-State of the Union event. “And there’s been requests for more information. I think ultimately Senator Hagel will provide that information.”
In particular, Republicans on the Armed Services Committee have asked for more detailed financial disclosures from Hagel – a demand dismissed by Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), the committee’s chairman.
“We’re not going to accept a change in the rules that applies to one nominee,” Levin said earlier this week as he defended Hagel. “We are not going to accept your suggestion and innuendo that there’s some sort of conflict of interest.”
This has nothing to do with Chuck Hagel, and everything to do with Republicans who despise this President. Indeed, Republicans filed their motion to filibuster Chuck Hagel's nomination this afternoon, requiring a cloture vote on Friday. This means Democrats have to come up with 60 votes, and at least 5 Republicans, to proceed. So far only Susan Collins has committed to this, and it's entirely possible that Republicans will be able to delay Hagel's nomination indefinitely.
The question now is, considering this means the Republicans have completely scrapped the filibuster deal they worked out with Harry Reid less than a month ago (surprise, right?) what will Harry Reid do?
I know what he should be doing right about now. Will he go back to the filibuster and blow it up?