Durbin Meets with Secretary of Defense Nominee, Senator Chuck Hagel

[WASHINGTON, DC] – Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin met yesterday with President Obama’s nominee for Secretary of Defense, former Senator Chuck Hagel, to discuss his nomination and the challenges of supporting our troops and maintaining a strong national defense while reducing the national security threat of our budget deficit. They also discussed the important role the defense installations in Illinois, such as Rock Island Arsenal, Scott Air Force Base and Naval Station Great Lakes, play in our national security and the DREAM Act.


“Senator Hagel and I had a very good meeting to talk about the Department of Defense and his role in its future. I keep returning to the basics here: the basics would be that Chuck Hagel would be the first enlisted man, the first volunteer, who served in Vietnam to be the Secretary of Defense. He served our nation in combat. He was wounded. He returned and had an amazing career in public service in the United States Senate. I can understand why President Obama has chosen him for the important responsibilities of first, keeping America safe and second, making certain that the Department of Defense can respond to the challenges of the 21st century,” Durbin said. “At the end of the day, I will listen carefully to Senator Hagel’s testimony before the committees, but I certainly come to his nomination with a positive feeling that the President has chosen an excellent person to lead the Department of Defense.”