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Another day, another Harry Reid whopper: GOP blocking Hagel has left the country without a Secretary of Defense

By Doug Powers  •  February 14, 2013 11:56 AM

**Written by Doug Powers

It must be solid info… Harry got it from the same dudes who told him Romney hadn’t paid taxes in a decade.

From The Hill:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) stepped up pressure Thursday for Republicans to allow a vote on President Obama’s nominee to lead the Defense Department.

Reid said if Republicans do not allow an up-or-down vote on nominee and former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.), the U.S. will be without a defense secretary with Pentagon chief Leon Panetta’s retirement.

“We, at 12 o’clock today, do not have a Secretary of Defense,” Reid said on the Senate floor Thursday morning. “It is shocking that our Republicans colleagues would leave our nation without a Secretary of Defense with all the things going on and when we’re in a war.”

When it comes to the speed at which you believe anything Harry Reid says, you have to follow the same advice as you would when driving through a school zone: “not so fast”:

“The Secretary plans to stay in office until Sen. Hagel is confirmed and sworn in,” Pentagon press secretary George Little told the E-Ring, in an fresh email Thursday, following Reid’s assertion.
FP National Security’s Situation Report reported on Thursday that Panetta will fly home to California on Thursday where he intends to stay. That’s clearly a pressure move by the administration (and Panetta always goes home on weekends — especially holidays.) But Panetta is fully connected to the Pentagon at his home, where he has spent dozens of weekends while in office, and will remain defense secretary.

If Reid’s trying to tell America that they won’t have a defense secretary just because he’s not in Washington, then this weekend we won’t have a president, either.

Quick update on where the full Senate vote on the Hagel nomination stands:

Hagel’s nomination made it out of the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday on a straight party line vote, another ominous sign.

Then on Wednesday afternoon, Reid announced he was filing a cloture motion, Senate-speak for an attempt to end a filibuster. He couldn’t reach agreement with Sen. James Inhofe, the Oklahoman who is the top Republican on the Armed Services panel, to end debate.

Among Inhofe’s stated concerns about Hagel, he has said, is that the Iranian Foreign Ministry supports his nomination. Sen. Carl Levin, the Michigan Democrat who is the committee’s chairman, has suggested that perhaps the Iranians are being bomb throwers and trying to cause mischief in American policy circles.

In any event, Reid has scheduled the vote to end the debate for Friday unless an agreement is reached beforehand.

At this point Reid is three votes short of the number that would be needed to end a Republican filibuster. I also understand the Senate is now just six votes shy of getting Reid committed to a pseudologia fantastica treatment facility.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Posted in: Harry Reid,Politics

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