Thursday January 31, 2013 | 10:22 AM

WASHINGTON – Thursday is a big day for Maine’s Sen. Angus King.

The public will get its first chance to see – and probably hear – Maine’s new independent senator working at the committee level during a nomination hearing for President Barack Obama’s pick for secretary of defense, former Sen. Chuck Hagel.

Later Thursday, the Senate is expected to vote to on a debt-ceiling bill that includes a provision King mentioned repeatedly during his fall campaign.

King spokeswoman Crystal Canney said the senator plans to ask Hagel questions during the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, although she declined to preempt King as to the subject matter. Although King has participated in Senate Intelligence Committee meetings in recent weeks, that committee’s hearings often deal with classified information and are closed to the public and press.

Hagel, a former Republican senator from Nebraska, is expected to get a grilling from some of his former colleagues on the right side of the aisle. King, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, has said he believes the president “should have significant latitude in appointing members of his own cabinet.”

Hagel and King met privately last week. The two men discussed the dwindling resources facing the Department of Defense, Israeli security and the threat posed by Iran. Defense spending is a major issue for Maine due to the shipbuilding and maintenance operations at Bath Iron Works and the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.

You can watch the Hagel hearing here. They are expected to last much of Thursday.

Some time after noon, the full Senate will then begin consideration of a House bill to delay action on the nation’s debt ceiling until mid-May. The bill also contains a provision – known as “No Budget, No Pay” – that would withhold paychecks from members of Congress unless they pass a budget, although critics dismiss it as little more than a budget gimmick.

King repeatedly voiced his support for a “No budget, no pay” provision during the campaign.


About this Blog

Subscribe to the
Maine on the Hill RSS

About the Author

Kevin Miller is Washington bureau chief for the Portland Press Herald and MaineToday Media. He has worked as a journalist in Maine for 6 ½ years, covering the environment, politics and the State House. Before arriving in Maine, he wrote about politics, government and education for newspapers in Virginia and Maryland.
Kevin can be reached at 317-6256 or

Subscribe to the
Maine on the Hill RSS

Previous entries

March 2014

February 2014

January 2014

December 2013

November 2013

October 2013


September 2013

August 2013

July 2013

June 2013

May 2013

April 2013

March 2013

February 2013

January 2013

December 2012

November 2012

October 2012

September 2012

April 2012

March 2012

February 2012

January 2012

December 2011

November 2011

October 2011

September 2011

August 2011

July 2011

June 2011

May 2011

April 2011

March 2011

February 2011

Further Discussion

Here at we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)
Prefer to respond privately? Email us here.