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Public Statements

Executive Session

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. NELSON. Madam President, I wish to ask my colleagues to support the Hagel nomination. Let me just hit a couple of highlights.

He volunteered to go into the Army during Vietnam. He was assigned to Germany. He volunteered to go to Vietnam.

His brother was assigned in one part of Vietnam, he in another. His brother Tom and he asked to be in the same unit. While on patrol in the jungles at night, his brother saved his life. On another patrol at night, he saved his brother's life. He was wounded twice. He was medevaced. He asked to go back into the fight.

He has served as Deputy Administrator of the Department of Veterans' Affairs with a quarter of a million employees under his management. He represented the State of Nebraska in the Senate for 12 years. He coauthored the post-9/11 GI bill with Senator Webb. Out of uniform and away from Capitol Hill, he has lead the USO.

This is exceptionally capable man, who is a patriot, has given extensive testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee. He has cleared up the issues that have been asked over and over, including one that was raised about his role in authoring the Global Zero report.

First, the report didn't propose anything. It was, in the words specifically used in the front end of the report, ``illustrative,'' proposing nothing but laying out different scenarios and possibilities. There was nothing that was proposed in a recommendation that we unilaterally disarm, reduce the arsenal, or eliminate the triad. And that would especially be so since another of the coauthors was General Cartwright, the former commander of U.S. Strategic Command and the eighth Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs.

This is a critical time for national defense. It is a critical time for our country. We need to get on and approve the nomination so he can get on with his duties as Secretary of Defense.

Madam President, I yield the floor.

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