WASHINGTON - A second Republican senator says he will back former Sen. Chuck Hagel as the next Pentagon chief.
Nebraska's senior senator, Mike Johanns, says he believes Hagel will be a strong supporter of Israel and other allies of the U.S. and will be firm with America's enemies.
Johanns tells the Lincoln Journal Star that he believes Hagel earned his endorsement.
Johanns says he decided to back Hagel after the former Nebraska senator's confirmation hearing and after meeting with him.
Some Republican senators have said they will vote against confirming Hagel. Hagel has been criticized as not being tough enough on Iran or sufficiently supportive of Israel.
Johanns joins Republican Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi in supporting Hagel's nomination. Senate Democrats hold the majority, and none has voiced opposition to Hagel's appointment.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)