The Senate Armed Services Committee approved former Sen. Chuck Hagel to be Secretary of Defense, setting the stage for a heated debate in the Senate, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Hagel, a Republican from Nebraska, won the support for his nomination by the committee with only Democratic votes. All 11 Republicans present voted against him.
The Senate will begin to review Hagel’s nomination Wednesday, with a decision expected to be reached by the end of the week.
Hagel was nominated by President Obama in January. However, several Republicans questioned his stance on Pentagon spending and criticized his previous statements towards Iran and Israel.
Sen. Lindsey Graham told the Los Angeles Times that she and other Republicans vow to obstruct the Senate’s vote on Hagel. However, a spokesman from the White House said they believe he has enough support to ultimately be approved.