Obama Defense Pick Faces Rough Going in Senate

10:47 AM, Jan 8, 2013   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama's pick of Chuck Hagel to helm the Pentagon faces rough going in the Senate. A handful of Republicans quickly announced their opposition to a former GOP colleague, and several skeptical Democrats reserved judgment until the nominee explains his views on Israel and Iran.

The concerns about Hagel complicate his path to Senate confirmation but are not necessarily calamitous. The White House is pushing for the first Vietnam War veteran to oversee a military emerging from two wars and staring at deep budget cuts. Obama also tapped White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan to head the Central Intelligence Agency.

Brennan, a 25-year CIA veteran, faces no major obstacles, but he is expected to be hit with questions about torture and administration leaks of secret information.

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