Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) released the following statement after he voted to end a filibuster of former Senator Chuck Hagel's (R-Neb.) nomination as U.S. Secretary of Defense:
"I'm disappointed that some of my colleagues seem intent on playing political games by irresponsibly blocking a qualified nominee to lead our Defense Department during a particularly critical time for our country. In just over two weeks, the 'sequester' is set to take effect and enact indiscriminate cuts to our defense budget. If the 'sequester' goes through, we will need a Secretary of Defense who can ably navigate the details of the Defense budget to maintain troop readiness and preparation. Leaving this post vacant for even a week is senseless and shortsighted. Filibusters like these exemplify the dysfunction and obstruction that is unfortunately rampant in Congress and that so many Americans are fed up with. Chuck Hagel deserves an up-or-down vote, and I'm ready to vote yes. He meets all the criteria I look for in a nominee: sound moral character, a strong work ethic, proven leadership skills, and knowledge and experience in the area of appointment. From his time as an enlisted man in the Vietnam War to his days in the Senate, Chuck has shown himself to be a courageous leader ready and willing to put his country above all else. He possesses the rare mix of management, business, and policy experience that make him uniquely qualified to handle the challenges of running the Department of Defense at this critical point in our nation's history. He deserves a vote and ultimately confirmation."