POLITICS

Susan Collins Says She Will Oppose Chuck Hagel Nomination, Doesn't Back Filibuster

US Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) walks the halls of the US Senate with reporters as members of congress meet on solving the im
US Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) walks the halls of the US Senate with reporters as members of congress meet on solving the impending fiscal cliff December 31, 2012 in Washington, DC. The US House of Representatives will not vote on December 31, 2012 on an 11th-hour proposal to prevent the country from tottering over the so-called 'fiscal cliff,' a senior Republican source told AFP. AFP PHOTO / Paul J. Richards (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

By RICHARD LARDNER, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Susan Collins says she will oppose the confirmation of Chuck Hagel to become President Barack Obama's secretary of defense.

Collins, a moderate Republican from Maine who had been seen as a possible supporter of Hagel, said Wednesday that his views on the most critical threats facing the United States are "unsettling."

Collins said in a statement that Hagel was unwilling to ask the European Union to designate Hezbollah a terrorist organization in 2006, and he has been hesitant to back the use of all non-military options, such as unilateral sanctions, to pressure Iran into ceasing its nuclear program.

Collins said she would not join in a filibuster to block a final vote.

The Senate Armed Services Committee voted 14-11 on Tuesday to send Hagel's nomination to the full Senate.

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