Senate GOP blocks Hagel vote for now
Published: February 14, 2013 12:00PM
Updated: February 14, 2013 04:01PM
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FILE - In this Jan. 31, 2013 file photo, former Nebraska Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel, President Obama's choice for defense secretary, testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee during his confirmation hearing, on Capitol Hill in Washington. A bitterly divided Senate panel on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013, voted to approve Hagel to be the nation's defense secretary at a time of turmoil for the military with looming budget cuts, a fresh sign of North Korea's nuclear ambitions and drawdown of U.S. forces in Afghanistan. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Republicans have, for now, blocked Chuck Hagel’s nomination to become defense secretary.

The Senate came up two votes short of the 60 needed to move Hagel’s nomination forward as lawmakers prepare to leave town for a week’s break. Democrats hold a 55-45 edge in the Senate.

Republicans had been blocking the confirmation of their former colleague from Nebraska who is a Vietnam veteran until they received information from the White House on President Barack Obama’s actions during the attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya.

The White House responded to that request earlier Thursday, saying Obama spoke with Libyans a day after the attack.