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Blunt to Vote 'No' on Hagel Nomination; McCaskill Still Weighing Hagel's Record

US Senator Roy Blunt, a Republican, appeared on national television to share his concerns about Hagel's nomination. (Screengrab

U.S. Senator Roy Blunt, who sits on the Senate's Armed Services Commitee, says he will vote “no” on former U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel’s nomination to serve as Secretary of Defense. KSMU’s Jennifer Davidson has details.

Hagel, a Republican from Nebraska, has been nominated by President Barack Obama, but he’s taken the most heat from fellow Republicans, like Blunt.

In a press release, Blunt said Hagel was inconsistent on his policy stance relating to Iran and Israel.While in the Senate, Hagel was opposed to unilateral, or US-only, sanctions against Iran. Hagel has also been critical of Israel for its occupation of the Palestinian territories.

Blunt said he admired Hagel’s service to the country, but that he will ultimately vote against the nomination in committee, and on the Senate floor if there is a full vote.

Hagel told Senators Thursday at a hearing that he is committed to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. He also said he would make sure Israel maintains its strong military edge in the Middle East.

Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill, who also sits on the Armed Services committee, told MSNBC that she is not saying how she will vote until she sees all of his comments on the record. She said she wants to see if Hagel agrees with her on the need to audit the Pentagon.

For KSMU News, I’m Jennifer Davidson.