WASHINGTON, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. Senate on Tuesday voted 58-41 to confirm Chuck Hagel as the next Secretary of Defense. Hagel could be sworn in as early as Wednesday.
The vote was basically along party lines, with four Republicans breaking rank to join the Democratic majority. Hagel needed a simple majority of over 50 votes to be confirmed.
The confirmation came as expected after GOP resistance was broken in a cloture vote to end debate earlier in the afternoon.
Hagel is to succeed Leon Panetta, who made no secret his desire to retire.
Backstage of Ralph Lauren 2013 Fall collections
New York slammed with heavy snow
"Swan Lake" rehearsed in Mexico
Costumed revellers gather in Venice
People protest against DPRK's nuclear test
Chinese Lunar New Year celebrated around world