Nebraska Senator Johanns Says He Backs Hagel for Defense Post

Nebraska Senator Mike Johanns, a Republican, said today he’ll vote to confirm former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel as secretary of defense, the Lincoln Journal Star reported, citing a telephone interview with Johanns.

Hagel, a 66-year-old Republican selected for the job by Democratic President Barack Obama, faced criticism from fellow Republicans during a Jan. 31 confirmation hearing over issues such as his opposition to the 2007 U.S. troop surge in Iraq and about his stances on nuclear arms reduction and Israel policy.

Johann’s Communications Director, Nick Simpson, declined to comment further than the Journal Star article.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alexander Kowalski in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Ann Hughey at

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