N.H. Senators Strike Differing Tones On Secretary Of Defense Nomination

Jan 8, 2013

New Hampshire’s two Senators have differing reactions to President Obama’s nomination of Republican Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense.

While praising Senator Hagel’s service in Vietnam, Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte says she has concerns about positions he has taken during his time in Congress.

In a statement, Ayotte pledged to "vigorously question" Hagel on his long-standing opposition to increased sanctions against Iran.

Ayotte says she will also ask Hagel about his views regarding Hezbollah and Hamas, as well as Israel.

Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen struck a much less critical tone in her statement.  She referred to Hagel as a "strong and independent leader" and a "voice of principle."

Shaheen also applauded Hagel’s service in war and said she looks forward to speaking with him and considering his nomination.

Ayotte and Shaheen are both members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, which will review Hagel’s nomination. It then goes to the full Senate for a confirmation vote.