Executive Sessionby Senator Lindsey Graham
Posted on 2013-02-14
GRAHAM. We reported Senator Hagel's nomination out at 5 o'clock.
I would argue that the hearing was interesting, I think at times
unnerving. Here it is Thursday. So there are some questions being asked
by our colleagues that I think are legitimate. Some are kind of
creating a new standard. I am confident, in the next week,
unless there is some explosive bombshell that I cannot quite get my
hands around, I intend to vote for cloture and against the nomination.
I am one, along with Senator McCain, who believes filibustering should
be a rare thing.
But what we are doing is saying the debate time for Senator Hagel is not yet over, since he just got reported out Tuesday at 5 o'clock. Put yourself in the shoes of the colleagues who are not on this committee. This has been a very controversial nominee. I will say the reason we voted for Senator Kerry on the same day he got reported out of committee and he got 97 votes, that all of us felt comfortable with the nomination. There are very uncomfortable things about this nomination. But having said that, I do believe that unless there is something new that comes out, we should proceed to a vote, up or down. I am willing to invoke cloture because I think, as Senator McCain said, the week time period would give us a chance to answer these questions.
Let me inform my colleagues that just about an hour ago, there was a press report that a speech was given by Senator Hagel--I can't remember the group. But one of his aides posted--based on his notes what he had said the next day on a Web site.
During that speech, according to this aide, Senator Hagel said the U.S. State Department was an extension of the Israeli Government. Things such as that are unnerving. There is at least one speech he gave that he did not report that we think there is a copy of. We should get it in the next few days. That is why I would oppose cloture today, vote for it after the recess.