By Paul Kane and Ed O’Keefe, Updated: Thursday, February 14, 4:52 PM
Senate Republicans blocked a vote on Chuck Hagel’s nomination as secretary of defense on Thursday, launching an unprecedented filibuster and a severe rebuke to the White House.
Falling one vote shy of the 60 needed to move forward on the nomination, the Hagel filibuster brought stark condemnations from President Obama and Senate Democrats for its precedent-setting nature -- the first time a defense secretary nominee had been filibustered. The setback came during what many believe is a critical period for the Pentagon as it winds down troops from Afghanistan and implements costly budget cuts.
It was also a hard slap to a former colleague and member of the chamber.
Asked about the Senate vote during an online “fireside hangout,” Obama said that he expects that Hagel will be confirmed. But he slammed Senate Republicans for their “unprecedented filibuster” of a defense chief nominee.
“What seems to be happening, and this has been growing over time, is the Republican minority in the Senate seems to think that the rule now is that you need to have 60 votes for everything,” Obama said. “Well, that’s not the rule.”
He added that “it’s just unfortunate that this kind of politics intrudes at a time when I’m still presiding over a war in Afghanistan and I need a secretary of defense who is coordinating with our allies” on U.S. strategy in the region.
This is one time I would love to see the behind the scenes temper tantrum Obama likely threw.
If this was a movie some hacker would have cracked the Oval office cam and commandeered all the TV networks and would be playing it live, why can't shit like that ever happen in reality.