Quantcast

Senator Mike Lee of Utah opposes Hagel for Defense secretary

Published February 12, 2013 3:25 pm
Defense Department • Utah senator cites nominee's changing positions on Israel.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Washington • Sen. Mike Lee joined his fellow Republicans on the Senate Armed Services Committee in voting against Chuck Hagel to head the Department of Defense, though the Democrats in the majority advanced the nomination.

Utah's Lee did not speak during a feisty debate over Hagel's confirmation and another senator cast Lee's vote by proxy against President Barack Obama's pick. The committee eventually approved Hagel on a 14-11 party-line vote.

Lee said Hagel's record on national security issues was "weak" and "dangerous" and that the nominee had once supported negotiating with Hezbollah, a group considered a terrorism organization by the United States.

Lee's opposition mirrored concerns raised by other Republicans who pointed to the former Nebraska Republican senator's comment that the Jewish lobby "intimidates" a lot of people on Capitol Hill and for his opposition to some sanctions against Iran.

"Senator Hagel's changing positions on Israel are also troubling," Lee said in a statement. "Israel is, without doubt, the most important ally the United States has in the Middle East. We cannot afford to jeopardize our relationship with Israel or send a weak signal to their enemies."

The full Senate is expected to vote on Hagel's nomination.

tburr@sltrib.com

 

 


USER COMMENTS
Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
comments powered by Disqus