A Senate panel plans to vote on Tuesday afternoon on the bitterly contested nomination of Chuck Hagel as President Barack Obama’s new secretary of defense, the committee said on Monday.
Senator Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, which must approve Hagel’s nomination as Pentagon chief before a vote by the full Senate, intends to ask the committee to vote in an open meeting at 2:30 p.m. EST (1930 GMT).
READ ON: Senate to vote on Hagel nomination tomorrow
North Korea’s missile tests and menacing rhetoric have disappointed U.S. expectations that young leader Kim Jong-un would be different than his father but Washington still hopes to persuade Pyongyang to change course, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Tuesday.
“With a new young leader we all expected something different,” Clinton said in a town hall-style session put together by the State Department and broadcast worldwide. “We expected him to focus on improving the lives of the North Korea people, not just the elite, but everyone.
“Instead he has engaged in very provocative rhetoric and behavior,” she said of Kim, who took over his impoverished, isolated Northeast Asian nation when his father, Kim Jong-il, died in December 2011.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday angrily defended her handling of the September 11 attack on the U.S. mission in the Libyan city of Benghazi and denied any effort to mislead people.
The attack by armed militants that killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans threatens to stain Clinton’s legacy as secretary of state. It also may dent any hopes that Clinton, who mounted an unsuccessful presidential campaign in 2008, may run for the White House again in 2016.
By turns emotional and fierce, Clinton choked up as she spoke of comforting the victims’ families and grew angry when a Republican senator accused the Obama administration of misleading the country over whether the Benghazi incident stemmed from a protest.
“With all due respect, the fact is that we had four dead Americans,” Clinton shot back as she testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, an appearance delayed more than a month because of her ill health.
“Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they’d go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make?” she said, making chopping motions with her hands for emphasis.
READ ON: Clinton angrily defends handling of Benghazi attack
LIVE COVERAGE: Clinton testifies before House committee
Video: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.S. Senator Ron Johnson clash over Benghazi consulate attack (via Talking Points Memo)
President Barack Obama proposed a new assault weapons ban and mandatory background checks for all gun buyers on Wednesday in a bid to channel national outrage over the Newtown school massacre into the biggest U.S. gun-control push in generations.
Rolling out a wide-ranging plan for executive and legislative action to curb gun violence, Obama set up a fierce clash with the powerful U.S. gun lobby and its supporters in Congress, who are expected to resist what they see as an encroachment on constitutionally protected gun rights.
Obama presented his agenda at a White House event in front of an audience that included children from around the country, a poignant reminder of the 20 first-graders who were killed along with six adults by a lone gunman on December 14 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
“While reducing gun violence is a complicated challenge, protecting our children from harm shouldn’t be a divisive one,” Obama said.
“I’ll be probably calling around, looking for somebody to play cards with me or something, because I’m getting kind of lonely in this big house. So maybe — maybe a whole bunch of members of the House Republican caucus want to come over and socialize more.”
Credit Obama for giving voters what he’s promised, a like-minded team that will help him avoid unnecessary war so that he can focus on strengthening America. However, what may be even more important is the team’s ability to deal with the unexpected. The greatest certainty of the next four years is uncertainty.