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Nelson irked at questioning of Hagel

Posted Feb 1, 2013 by Jerome R. Stockfisch

Updated Feb 1, 2013 at 06:13 PM

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson wasn’t pleased with his colleagues’ behavior during Thursday’s openly hostile grilling of former GOP senator Chuck Hagel, President Obama’s choice to succeed Leon Panetta as secretary of defense.

“I am one of the senior members of the Armed Services Committee,” he said in a huddle with reporters following a Tampa event on Friday. “I was shocked at what I consider the rudeness, the lack of civility in the questioning of Senator Hagel, who has been a colleague of all of us, who has been a personal friend of all of us.

“It got very personal,” he said. “You can disagree without being disagreeable; that’s the great history and tradition of United States government and our politics. But that was not on display, because it got pretty ugly.”

With the Senate’s Democratic majority on his side, Hagel is likely to be confirmed, although Republicans could engage in an unprecedented filibuster to block the appointment.

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