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McKeon Opposes Hagel as Secretary of Defense


Location: Washington, DC

Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon (R-CA) commented today on the Senate confirmation hearing for Sen. Charles "Chuck" Hagel for Secretary of Defense:

"When President Obama nominated Senator Hagel to serve as Secretary of Defense, I was open --with reservations -- to the possibility that Mr. Hagel possessed both the qualifications and abilities to meet the lofty demands of office.

"Unfortunately, in confusing and contradictory testimony, he created more concerns than he allayed. His refusal to shut the door on further defense cuts put him at stark odds with the current Defense Secretary and military leaders. His ambiguous and evolving positions on Iran raised more questions than answers. And his shifting, evasive answers on the future of America's nuclear deterrent were deeply troubling.

"It pains me to reach this conclusion, given Senator Hagel's service in the armed forces and in the Senate; but at this vital time when our national security hangs in the balance, it is my opinion that Senator Hagel is unfit for the job of Secretary of Defense. When it comes to the safety of this nation, the security of our troops, and the well-being of the American people, we can and must do better. I urge President Obama to submit a viable nominee as soon as possible."

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