Do Hagel supporters have 60 votes to block filibuster?

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Senate's top Democrat has set the stage for a full Senate vote by the end of the week on President Barack Obama's nomination of Chuck Hagel to be defense secretary.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid filed a motion on Wednesday to limit debate and force a vote on Hagel's nomination. Democrats hold a 55-45 edge in the Senate and have the numbers to confirm Hagel on a majority vote. But they would need the support of five Republicans before an up-or-down vote on the president's pick to head the Defense Department would be allowed if the GOP decided to filibuster.

Republicans have indicated they might delay a vote, and Nebraska Senator Mike Johanns, a Republican supporting Hagel, says getting 60votes to block a filibuster could be a challenge.

A divided Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday voted to approve Hagel by a 14-11 vote along partisan lines.

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