Vitter Says Hagel Nomination Being Rushed Through Senate

(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Senator David Vitter (R-La.) today in the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Secretary of Defense Nominee, Sen. Chuck Hagel, suggested that Hagel’s nomination was being rushed through the Senate without proper vetting.

“We are not asking for anything outside of the normal committee rules,” Vitter said. “Sen. Hagel is being rushed through the Senate without fully disclosing all of his public speeches.”

Click here to watch the video of Vitter’s statement and interaction with Chairman Levin about the lack of disclosure of Hagel’s speeches.

In a February 5, 2013 letter from Sen. Hagel to the Armed Services Committee, Hagel stated he “conducted an exhaustive search for all of my speaking engagements over the past five years. All available prepared texts and transcripts have been provided to the Committee.”

Below are six of the twelve speeches that were not submitted by Sen. Chuck Hagel when he submitted his last minute documents, but that fall within the Armed Services committee’s disclosure rules because they have transcripts or video. The other six were speeches on the Senate floor and would have been easily found for submission.
• June 13, 2008 Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee Convention
• Dec. 4, 2008 Israeli Policy Forum Annual Event: “In His Own Words: Sen. Chuck Hagel on the Middle East”
• May 16, 2009 Georgetown University Commencement Speech
• Sept. 23, 2009 McCarthy Lecture – College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University
• October 2009 Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy – University of Michigan
• May 28, 2012 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War Commemoration

Notable quotes from Democrat leaders agreeing to disclosures:

“[W]e are in this largely avoidable position of having to vote against cloture and extending debate until the information is turned over to the Foreign Relations and Intelligence Committees. I hope the Administration will do the right thing and provide the information to the Senate.” — Sen. Harry Reid, May 26, 2005

“Mr. Bolton did not get a vote in the full Senate last year because the Administration refused, with no justification, to allow the Senate to review documents highly relevant to his nomination….Unless the Administration provides the Senate with the documents it is entitled to see, Mr. Bolton should not get a vote.” — Sen. Joe Biden, November 9, 2006.

“Mr. President, this Senate, as a body, should insist on legitimate requests for information from its Members. Every member, every member, should add his or her voice to the demand for the production of relevant documents which Senators need to decide on confirmation or for any other legitimate reason. This body will be a lesser place if we do not stand with each other when it comes to gaining access to documents, at least in the absence of a claim of executive privilege.” – Sen. Carl Levin, May 25, 2005.

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