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Democrats’ latest defense of Chuck Hagel, whose confirmation as Secretary of Defense has bogged down in the Senate Armed Services Committee, is the argument that the Republicans are holding Hagel to a higher standard than any previous nominee. In fact, Republicans are only holding Hagel to the standard Democrats have applied to past nominees–and with far greater justification, given Hagel’s radical foreign policy views.

Hagel has refused to provide the committee with additional requested information about foreign funding to non-profit organizations and business entities with which he has been associated in the past decade. Hagel has also declined to comply with the committee’s request for more information about the “hundreds” of speeches he has given in recent years, saying that almost all of them were extemporaneous, private and unrecorded.

In response, over two dozen Republicans, led by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), signed a letter indicating their conviction that the committee should not vote on recommending Hagel for confirmation by the Senate until he complies with all disclosure requests. The chair of the committee, Democrat Carl Levin of Michigan, postponed a vote that he hoped to have scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 7, and did not specify when the vote would occur.

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