Group of GOP senators call for Obama to withdraw Hagel nomination

Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) and 14 other Republican senators told President Obama to withdraw former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) as his pick for Secretary of Defense on Thursday.

In a letter to the president, the senators said that Hagel's nomination should be withdrawn because it would be unprecedented for a Defense Secretary to take over without broad bipartisan support, the Hill reports.

One of the senators on the letter, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), sought more details about the terrorist attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, that occurred in September.

Some senators attacked the Hagel nomination for his support of the group Global Zero, an international movement for the elimination of all nuclear weapons. Other senators requested more financial information about the candidate.

The letter, however, focused on the lack of bipartisan support for Hagel.

"In the history of this position, none has ever been confirmed with more than 11 opposing votes," the senators said, according to the Hill. "The occupant of this critical office should be someone whose candidacy is neither controversial nor divisive."

Hagel faced the first ever filibuster for a Defense Secretary nomination last week and fell one vote short of the 60 needed to proceed.

The White House made it clear that it will stick by Hagel, who is almost certain to get confirmed. No Democrats said that they oppose him and Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) said he would vote for Hagel on Thursday.

Multiple Republican senators said that they would allow a final up-or-down vote to proceed on Hagel upon the return of Congress next week, the Hill reports.