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Senate GOP blocks Hagel vote for now

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RICHARD LARDNER | February 14, 2013 05:35 PM EST | AP

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WASHINGTON — 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.