Chuck Hagel’s confirmation was never seriously in jeopardy - if it came down to a simple majority vote on the floor of the Senate. But with key Republicans now filibustering the nomination, we’re told Harry Reid lacks the 60 votes necessary to break the filibuster. It’s an unprecedented move by either party to impose a 60-vote threshold on a key cabinet position like secretary of defense. Reid took to the Senate floor to decry the move this morning, but the unspoken subtext of his speech was that he doesn’t have the votes to overcome the GOP filibuster. Hagel’s fate is not sealed yet, but as of right now, the votes are simply not there. So something will have to change.
David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.