Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement regarding the announcement that former Senator Chuck Hagel will be nominated to fill the position of Secretary of Defense.
“The responsibility of Advice and Consent is an important Constitutional duty and I look forward to the confirmation process with my former Senate colleague Chuck Hagel. I will be requesting an opportunity to meet with him one-on-one to discuss many of the issues he will face as a key member of the President’s national security team. I have concerns based on positions he has taken and statements he has made on a variety of topics. Despite my reservations, I will not prejudge his nomination but will give him ample opportunity to explain himself and current thinking on the future state and scope of our military, relationships with our allies, including Israel, and how he believes we should address challenges to our national security like Iran. I also want to be reassured that if confirmed, a Secretary Hagel would aggressively defend the forward progress made by the Department of Defense in removing discrimination based on sexual orientation from regulations and daily life among our troops.”