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February 14, 2013

White House calls possible Hagel filibuster "unconscionable"

The White House is urging Senate Republicans to drop what it calls an "unconscionable" Senate filibuster against Obama's pick for Defense Secretary, warning it sends the wrong signal to U.S. allies and members of the U.S. military.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters Thursday that Obama "stands strongly behind" Hagel and believes he'll "do a wonderful job in a very important role.. leading the Department of Defense at a challenging time for our country. We need our new secretary of defense in place."

Earnest noted that there is a defense ministerial meeting in Brussels next week, where the U.S. will meet with allies to talk about the military's transition out of Afghanistan and needs its "new defense secretary to be there.

"It does not send a favorable signal for Republicans in the United States Senate to delay a vote on the president's nominee, a nominee who's a member of their own party," Earnest said. "It's difficult to explain to our allies exactly why that's happening. It also sends a signal to our men and women in uniform who are currently deployed around the globe and who are currently serving on the front lines in Afghanistan and are taking fire today."

Earnest said the White House is urging Senate Republicans to drop the delay: "There is a clear majority in the United States Senate for Senator Hagel's confirmation. These delaying tactics are unconscionable, and they should end right away," he said.

Earnest said the White House has provided 20 briefings to Senate members and staffers. He said retiring Defense Secretary Leon Panetta will hold the post until Hagel is confirmed -- some members of the Senate have warned that Panetta is gone as of noon Friday.
Earnest said the White House has "worked in close coordination with the Senate," participating in 10 different congressional hearings on Benghazi; "6 different witness interviews" and "40 inquiries that we've responded to by producing more than 10,000 pages of documents."
"Our efforts to coordinate with the Senate on these issues is evident, to put it mildly," Earnest said. "And that's why we are calling on the Republicans in the Senate to end their delay right away."

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BI Tool Guy

It really is an unconscionable move on the part of Senate Republicans to block the will of the majority in this manner. It just goes to show that at this point any attempts at bipartisanship with the Republicans are completely wasted.

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