Shelby vote will secure approval for Defense Chief nominee - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Shelby vote will secure approval for Defense Chief nominee

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Thanks to an Alabama Senator, President Barack Obama's nominee to be the next Pentagon chief now has the Senate votes he needs to be approved. Five-term Republican Senator Richard Shelby says he will vote to confirm Chuck Hagel as defense secretary. Shelby says that he has concerns about Hagel, but that he's "probably as good as we're going to get."

President Obama's choice to succeed Leon Panetta has faced strong Republican opposition -- even though Hagel himself is a former Republican senator. Republicans succeeded last week in sustaining a filibuster. The first ever of a nominee for Pentagon chief.

Shelby joins four other Republicans who have indicated they would not stand in the way of Hagel's nomination. Those five votes, added to the 55 Democratic votes would break the filibuster.

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