Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Schumer, Boxer Back Hagel for Pentagon

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Schumer, Boxer Back Hagel for Pentagon

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Chuck Schumer, an influential Democrat and member of the party's leadership, said today he would back President Barack Obama's choice of Chuck Hagel to head the Pentagon despite earlier misgivings about the Republican's stand on Israel, Iran and gay rights.

In a lengthy statement, Mr. Schumer said he met for 90 minutes with Mr. Hagel on Monday and received assurances on a range of issues from the former Republican senator.

"I am currently prepared to vote for his confirmation. I encourage my Senate colleagues who have shared my previous concerns to also support him," Mr. Schumer said.

The face-to-face meeting took place in the West Wing of the White House. While there, Mr. Schumer also met with Mr. Obama in the Oval Office, according to a Senate aide. Mr. Schumer told Mr. Obama that Mr. Hagel's responses on Israel were critical to his decision on the nomination.

Mr. Hagel has faced opposition from his former Republican colleagues and lukewarm support from some Democrats before and after Mr. …

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