WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Senate has confirmed Chuck Hagel as the new defense secretary.
The vote came Tuesday afternoon, with Senator Mike Johanns voting in favor and Senator Deb Fischer against. The final vote was 58-41.
Hagel succeeds Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who is stepping down after four years as CIA director and Pentagon chief.
Republicans had opposed Hagel, a former Republican senator from Nebraska and Vietnam combat veteran. They cast him as out of the mainstream, questioned his support for Israel and suggested he was too willing to compromise with Iran.