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Wicker Opposed to Defense Secretary Nominee

Senior Member of Armed Services Committee Says Confirmation Process Likely to be Divisive

Monday, January 7, 2013

TUPELO, MISS. – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), on Monday, reiterated his opposition to the nomination of former U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) to be Secretary of Defense.  According to media reports, the President is expected to nominate Hagel today.

“The next Defense Secretary will face a number of challenges on day one, so we need the right person for the job,” said Wicker.  “I am strongly opposed to the President’s nomination of Sen. Hagel.  It would be divisive and distracting for Congress, the Administration, and the American people.

“Sen. Hagel’s record of opposing Iran sanctions is troubling.  His views and positions on the Middle East and Israel are contrary to the Administration’s own stated policies, and there are concerns from members of both parties about this nomination.

“The President is choosing a fight rather than nominating a consensus pick.  With sequestration’s defense cuts averted for only two months, this will take attention away from very pressing problems.  Sec. Panetta was approved unanimously by the Senate.  The President would be wise to nominate someone else for this critical position.”

January 2013 Press Releases