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Donnelly backs Hagel for Pentagon

Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., voted Tuesday in favor of Chuck Hagel’s nomination as secretary of the Department of Defense.

The Senate Armed Forces Committee voted 14-11, along party lines, to advance to the entire Senate President Obama’s choice of Hagel to lead the Pentagon.

“While I do not agree with Senator Hagel on every issue, I am supporting Senator Hagel’s nomination for secretary of Defense because I believe he is qualified and capable to take on these challenges,” Donnelly said in a statement after the vote.

“Senator Hagel is supported by members of both parties, and it is not insignificant that Senator Hagel, by volunteering for combat service, has distinctive experience as it relates to the responsibilities of this job.”

He said Hagel, “a twice-wounded Vietnam War infantryman, is uniquely qualified to make sure we take care of our men and women in uniform, during and after their service.”

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