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Originally published Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 12:29 PM

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Senate to vote Thursday on advancing Hagel

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says the Senate will vote Thursday on whether advance Chuck Hagel's nomination as secretary of defense.

Associated Press

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WASHINGTON —

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says the Senate will vote Thursday on whether advance Chuck Hagel's nomination as secretary of defense.

It's unclear whether Reid has the 60 votes required to proceed to an up-or-down vote.

Reid's decision to seek a procedural vote comes a day earlier than expected, as Democrats seek to push President Barack Obama's nominee through a contentious confirmation process.

Republicans have been blocking the nomination of their former colleague and twice-wounded Vietnam combat veteran.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., one of the leading opponents of Hagel's nomination, says he will not oppose Thursday's procedural vote.

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