Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., on Thursday said she will be opposing Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel, a former senator from her hometown.
Fischer confirmed her plans in an op-ed piece written for the Omaha World Herald titled, “Why I can’t support the Hagel nomination.” She explained that she understands a nominee’s policy view will differ from her own and that this is not reason for disqualification. However, Fischer said it’s her constitutional duty to scrutinize all nominees, particularly the secretary of defense, who is held to a different standard.
Having privately met with Hagel and witnessed what she calls a “confusing and contradictory testimony” before the Senate Armed Services Committee last week, Fischer said her fellow Nebraskan doesn’t have her support.
“Nebraskans are familiar with some of Sen. Hagel’s controversial views, ranging from his curious opposition to sanctions against Iran to his inconsistent views toward Hezbollah and Hamas — terrorist organizations responsible for violence across the Middle East,” she wrote. “Sen. Hagel has changed these positions and argued before the committee that he now supports U.S. efforts to actively prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear capabilities.”
She later added, “I understand no one has all the answers or is correct 100 percent of the time. But as an elected official, I also believe leadership requires the humility to admit being wrong.”
But not all Nebraska Republicans are against Hagel.
Days ago Sen. Mike Johanns said he will support his former colleague’s nomination.
“Chuck earned this endorsement,” Johanns told the Lincoln Journal Star.
The committee delayed a vote on Hagel’s nomination after Republicans demanded information about who funded his private speeches and details about any foreign funders to any organizations he is associated with.