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In this Jan. 31, 2013 file photo, former Nebraska Republican Sen. 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. A bitterly divided Senate panel on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013, voted to approve Hagel to be the nation's defense secretary at a time of turmoil for the military with looming budget cuts, a fresh sign of North Korea's nuclear ambitions and drawdown of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

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Senate panel approves Hagel for Pentagon chief

A bitterly divided Senate panel on Tuesday approved President Barack Obama’s nomination of Chuck Hagel to be the nation’s defense secretary in a rancorous session at which Republican questioned the former GOP senator’s truthfulness and challenged his patriotism.

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