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      Hagel Receives Sec. of Defense Nomination, Neb. Senators Respond

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      President Obama announced Monday his nomination of former Nebraskan Sen. Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense. He said Hagel is "the leader that our troops deserve."

      Hagel could face a tough fight as he seeks confirmation by the Senate. Hagel, a moderate Republican, has the support of some of his former Senate colleagues but is drawing opposition from others who accuse him of being soft on Iran and insufficiently supportive of Israel.

      Sen. Deb Fischer says, "Iplan to closely review Senator Hagel's record and look forward to meeting withhim to discuss his views on America's role in an increasingly dangerous world."

      "As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I will also have theopportunity to publicly question Senator Hagel during his confirmation hearingin the coming weeks," added Fischer. "This process will be thorough and fair, and I look forwardto participating in it."

      Sen. Johanns agrees that the hearing will be thorough and fair saying, "ChuckHagel's military career is nothing short of admirable and while he has been along-time friend, we do have very different opinions on many very importantissues.

      "Now that he has been nominated, he has an obligation to elaborate onhis past statements and fully explain his positions during what I expect to bea thorough and fair confirmation hearing."

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