The Senate today voted 71-27 to overcome a procedural hurdle and will stage a final vote later today or tomorrow on the confirmation of former Sen. Chuck Hagel to be Secretary of Defense.
The 71 votes exceeds to the 60 margin needed to cut off debate and move toward a final up-or-down vote, assuring that Hagel will be confirmed.
President Obama is expected to announce that he is tapping former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) to be Secretary of Defense and White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan to be CIA director during an East Room ceremony at 1:05 pm ET.
I will live stream the event.
Obama appears to be trying to make a bit of a splash with the Hagel announcement by staging it in the East Room, hoping to give Hagel a running start as heads toward what promises to be a tempestuous confirmation process in the Senate.
By contrast, last month’s announcement that Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) would be nominated as Secretary of State was a low-key affair in the West Wing’s Roosevelt Room.