Senate's top Democrat hits GOP for blocking Hagel

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WASHINGTON — The Senate’s top Democrat attacked Republican senators today for blocking Chuck Hagel’s nomination to be President Barack Obama’s next secretary of defense, saying it was “shocking” and “tragic” that the GOP would attempt such a move at a time when the U.S. military is engaged in so many places around the world.

A demand by Republican senators that the White House give them more information about what Obama was doing on the night of the deadly attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, has the effect of a filibuster, said Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

Some Republicans plan to vote against ending debate on Hagel’s nomination if the White House doesn’t tell them whether Obama spoke to any Libyan government official about getting assistance during the assault on the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi.

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