FILE - In this Jan. 31, 2013, file photo, Republican 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. Senate Republicans on Feb. 14, 2013, temporarily blocked a full Senate vote on Hagel's nomination as defense secretary.(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
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The Senate has voted to confirm Chuck Hagel to be the next U.S. defense secretary.
The vote Tuesday was 58-41, with four Republicans joining Democrats in backing President Barack Obama's nominee.
The vote ended a contentious fight over the president's choice for his second-term national security team.
Republicans opposed the former 12-year Republican senator casting him as out of the mainstream and overly critical of Israel. But Democrats stood together for Hagel, a twice-wounded Vietnam combat veteran.
Hagel will succeed Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who is stepping down after four years as CIA director and Pentagon chief.
The vote came just hours after Republicans dropped their delay and allowed the nomination to move forward. The Senate vote to end the delaying maneuver known as a filibuster was 71-27.