Senate GOP blocks Hagel vote for now

FILE - In this Jan. 31, 2013, file photo, Republican Chuck Hagel, President Obama's choice for Defense Secretary, testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee during his confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. Senate Republicans on Feb. 14, 2013, temporarily blocked a full Senate vote on Hagel's nomination as defense secretary.(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File) Show caption
FILE - In this Jan. 31, 2013, file photo, Republican Chuck Hagel, President Obama's choice for Defense Secretary, testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee during his confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. Senate Republicans on Feb. 14, 2013, temporarily blocked a full Senate vote on Hagel's nomination as defense secretary.(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Republicans have, for now, blocked Chuck Hagel’s nomination to become defense secretary.

The Senate came up two votes short of the 60 needed to move Hagel’s nomination forward as lawmakers prepare to leave town for a week’s break. Democrats hold a 55-45 edge in the Senate.

Republicans had been blocking the confirmation of their former colleague from Nebraska who is a Vietnam veteran until they received information from the White House on President Barack Obama’s actions during the attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya.

The White House responded to that request earlier Thursday, saying Obama spoke with Libyans a day after the attack.

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