Chuck Hagel's nomination to be secretary of defense has hit a serious roadblock. Senate Democrats fell short of the 60 votes needed to move forward, throwing the former Nebraska Republican senator's nomination into limbo.
The vote to cut off Senate debate on the nomination was 58-40, with one senator voting present.But Hagel's nomination is not necessarily doomed; the Senate could vote again after next week's Presidents Day recess.
President Barack Obama's choice of Hagel to run the Defense Department has been controversial from the outset. A foreign policy "realist," Hagel made became known a decade ago as a vocal critic of then-President George W. Bush's approach to the Iraq War.
Senators have voiced concern about a series of statements Hagel made about Israel. He has also called for Pentagon cuts, often a tough sell on Capitol Hill.