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Susan Collins Says She Will Oppose Chuck Hagel Nomination, Doesn't Back Filibuster

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SUSAN COLLINS CHUCK HAGEL
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Me.) said she will oppose Chuck Hagel's nomination for Secretary of Defense (PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images) | Getty Images
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By RICHARD LARDNER, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Susan Collins says she will oppose the confirmation of Chuck Hagel to become President Barack Obama's secretary of defense.

Collins, a moderate Republican from Maine who had been seen as a possible supporter of Hagel, said Wednesday that his views on the most critical threats facing the United States are "unsettling."

Collins said in a statement that Hagel was unwilling to ask the European Union to designate Hezbollah a terrorist organization in 2006, and he has been hesitant to back the use of all non-military options, such as unilateral sanctions, to pressure Iran into ceasing its nuclear program.

Collins said she would not join in a filibuster to block a final vote.

The Senate Armed Services Committee voted 14-11 on Tuesday to send Hagel's nomination to the full Senate.

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