Fischer will vote against Hagel confirmation

WASHINGTON - Sen. Deb Fischer will oppose Chuck Hagel's nomination to be secretary of defense.

The Nebraska Republican is announcing her decision today in an exclusive World-Herald opinion piece.

Fischer wrote that she did not make her decision lightly and that she appreciates Hagel's service - both as an infantryman in Vietnam, where he was wounded twice, and as a two-term U.S. senator representing Nebraska.

"However, after meeting with him privately and witnessing his confusing and contradictory testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, I cannot support his nomination," Fischer wrote.

Fischer is a member of that committee, which announced Wednesday that it would delay a vote on the nomination until at least next week.

Fischer says Hagel still disavows previous votes in Congress including his votes against unilateral sanctions on Iran during President George W. Bush's time in office and his opposition to the surge in Iraq.

Fischer also said Hagel did not convince her he was the person to stave off dangerous defense budget cuts by winning over the public and building bipartisan consensus on Capitol Hill.

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