POLITICS
02/13/2013 01:04 pm ET

Roy Blunt Says GOP Has The Votes To Delay Chuck Hagel Confirmation

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) said on Wednesday that he believes there are enough votes to delay the Senate confirmation of President Barack Obama's secretary of defense nominee Chuck Hagel.

Speaking at a Politico event, Blunt said he is confident that there are 40 senators who would come together to hold up a vote on Hagel, signaling that "it's too quick to end the debate."

Blunt argued there has not been enough time to debate Hagel's confirmation and that "requests for more information" need to be fulfilled in order to move forward on a full Senate vote. On Tuesday, the Senate Armed Services Committee voted to confirm the former Republican senator from Nebraska on a party-line vote.

Ordinarily, Cabinet nominees require just 51 votes to pass the Senate. But if Republicans go through with their threat, Hagel supporters will need 60 votes, and Republicans will have to come up with 41 votes to block him.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has spoken openly about blocking a confirmation vote until he gets answers from the administration on the attack in Benghazi, Libya, and the committee's ranking member, Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), has threatened to filibuster the nominee.

The confirmation of a Cabinet nominee has never been rejected due to a filibuster.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said on Monday that he hopes to have a full Senate vote on Hagel's nomination by the end of the week.

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