Senate panel sets Hagel hearing for Jan. 31

January 16, 2013 - 12:32 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate Armed Services Committee will hold a confirmation hearing on the nomination of Chuck Hagel to be the next defense secretary on Jan. 31.

The panel announced the hearing in a statement issued Wednesday.

The committee's chairman, Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan, has expressed support for Hagel, President Barack Obama's pick to replace Leon Panetta as Pentagon chief. The panel's top Republican, Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, said in a statement late Tuesday that he would oppose the nomination.

Inhofe is one of a handful of Republicans who have expressed their opposition to Hagel, a Republican who served two terms as senator from Nebraska.