Sen. James Inhofe (R., Okla.) has warned fellow Republicans they will be held accountable if they vote to end an ongoing Senate filibuster over the nomination of embattled secretary of defense nominee Chuck Hagel.
“Make no mistake; a vote for cloture is vote to confirm Sen. Hagel as Secretary of Defense,” Inhofe wrote in a strongly worded letter to his Republican colleagues, several of whom have indicated in recent days that they would vote to end debate on Hagel’s nomination, paving the way for his confirmation.
Hagel’s nomination stalled last week when Senate Democrats could not muster the 60-votes needed to end a Republican filibuster of the nomination.
If just a few Republicans defect on Tuesday when the Senate resumes consideration of the nomination, Hagel is assured approval.
Inhofe warns his Republican colleagues that a vote for Hagel would imperil the nation’s security.
“As the Senate once again considers the Hagel nomination, it is essential to remember a vote for cloture is a vote to confirm Sen. Hagel as Secretary of Defense,” Inhofe wrote. “We should not let claims about presidential prerogatives and precedents dissuade us from carefully assessing the judgment and positions of this nominee. The president can do better.”
“Remember,” Inhofe writes, “our nation’s security is at state as you cast your vote on Tuesday.”