Hagel could face filibuster

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Senate Republican leader is raising the possibility of a filibuster of President Barack Obama's nomination of Chuck Hagel to be defense secretary. Senator Mitch McConnell says it's not clear yet whether the former Nebraska senator will need a simple majority of 51 votes or 60 votes to secure Senate confirmation.

In an interview this past weekend, McConnell gave Hagel a poor grade for his testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee and said opposition to the former Republican senator leading the Pentagon was growing.

Arizona Republican Senator John McCain, who had the sharpest confrontation with Hagel during the hearing over his opposition to the Iraq War, said he will oppose a filibuster but declined to say whether he will support Hagel's confirmation.

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