Chuck Hagel has been confirmed as U.S. Secretary of Defense, ending a  long seesaw battle over his nomination. The Senate moments ago voted 58 to 41 in favor of confirming Hagel. Hagel now replaces Leon Panetta at America’s top defense spot. (A full roll call of the Senate vote is at the end of this article.)

While the straight popular vote in the Democratic-controlled Senate had been expected, Hagel’s bid to become the head of the Department of Defense surprisingly has been the most contentious of the Obama Administration, with Republicans condemning the former Republican senator and Vietnam veteran for his views on Israel, Iran and the U.S. defense budget. Two weeks ago, Democrats failed to reach the 60-vote threshold to end debate and bring the nomination to a vote.

Republican senators continued their criticism of Hagel during today’s endgame. Sen. Dan Coats (R-Indiana) chided Hagel for  ”an embarrassing lack of knowledge” of Iran policy — referring to a moment in his confirmation hearings during which Hagel incorrectly claimed to support U.S. “containment” policy toward Iran. (This is not U.S. policy.) Coats and Minority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) both argued against Hagel by pointing out that he had more votes against his nomination than any Secretary of Defense in history — a circular argument that nevertheless underscored just how polarizing the Hagel nomination has been.

Despite this opposition, the Senate earlier today easily voted to end its filibuster on Hagel, with a 71 to 27 cloture vote in which 18 Republicans joined with the Democrats to bring Hagel’s bid to a vote. Although the Democrats have 53 seats in the Senate and caucus with two Independents, Sens. Frank Lautenberg (New Jersey) and Mark Udall (Colorado) missed the cloture vote.

Today’s vote ends a long fight between the Obama Administration (which nominated Hagel at the beginning of the year) and Senate Republicans who expressed grave concerns that Hagel was insufficiently supportive of Israel and unwilling to pursue a hard military line on Iran. Republicans also condemned Hagel’s characterization of the Defense Department’s budget as “bloated.” Hagel’s nomination saga was complicated by his testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, during which he appeared so groggy, confused and ill-prepared that even former Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs called him “unprepared and unimpressive.”

Human Events

The full Senate vote follows:

Alexander (R-TN), Nay
Ayotte (R-NH), Nay
Baldwin (D-WI), Yea
Barrasso (R-WY), Nay
Baucus (D-MT), Yea
Begich (D-AK), Yea
Bennet (D-CO), Yea
Blumenthal (D-CT), Yea
Blunt (R-MO), Nay
Boozman (R-AR), Nay
Boxer (D-CA), Yea
Brown (D-OH), Yea
Burr (R-NC), Nay
Cantwell (D-WA), Yea
Cardin (D-MD), Yea
Carper (D-DE), Yea
Casey (D-PA), Yea
Chambliss (R-GA), Nay
Coats (R-IN), Nay
Coburn (R-OK), Nay
Cochran (R-MS), Yea
Collins (R-ME), Nay
Coons (D-DE), Yea
Corker (R-TN), Nay
Cornyn (R-TX), Nay
Cowan (D-MA), Yea
Crapo (R-ID), Nay
Cruz (R-TX), Nay
Donnelly (D-IN), Yea
Durbin (D-IL), Yea
Enzi (R-WY), Nay
Feinstein (D-CA), Yea
Fischer (R-NE), Nay
Flake (R-AZ), Nay
Franken (D-MN), Yea
Gillibrand (D-NY), Yea
Graham (R-SC), Nay
Grassley (R-IA), Nay
Hagan (D-NC), Yea
Harkin (D-IA), Yea
Hatch (R-UT), Nay
Heinrich (D-NM), Yea
Heitkamp (D-ND), Yea
Heller (R-NV), Nay
Hirono (D-HI), Yea
Hoeven (R-ND), Nay
Inhofe (R-OK), Nay
Isakson (R-GA), Nay
Johanns (R-NE), Yea
Johnson (D-SD), Yea
Johnson (R-WI), Nay
Kaine (D-VA), Yea
King (I-ME), Yea
Kirk (R-IL), Nay
Klobuchar (D-MN), Yea
Landrieu (D-LA), Yea
Lautenberg (D-NJ), Not Voting
Leahy (D-VT), Yea
Lee (R-UT), Nay
Levin (D-MI), Yea
Manchin (D-WV), Yea
McCain (R-AZ), Nay
McCaskill (D-MO), Yea
McConnell (R-KY), Nay
Menendez (D-NJ), Yea
Merkley (D-OR), Yea
Mikulski (D-MD), Yea
Moran (R-KS), Nay
Murkowski (R-AK), Nay
Murphy (D-CT), Yea
Murray (D-WA), Yea
Nelson (D-FL), Yea
Paul (R-KY), Yea
Portman (R-OH), Nay
Pryor (D-AR), Yea
Reed (D-RI), Yea
Reid (D-NV), Yea
Risch (R-ID), Nay
Roberts (R-KS), Nay
Rockefeller (D-WV), Yea
Rubio (R-FL), Nay
Sanders (I-VT), Yea
Schatz (D-HI), Yea
Schumer (D-NY), Yea
Scott (R-SC), Nay
Sessions (R-AL), Nay
Shaheen (D-NH), Yea
Shelby (R-AL), Yea
Stabenow (D-MI), Yea
Tester (D-MT), Yea
Thune (R-SD), Nay
Toomey (R-PA), Nay
Udall (D-CO), Yea
Udall (D-NM), Yea
Vitter (R-LA), Nay
Warner (D-VA), Yea
Warren (D-MA), Yea
Whitehouse (D-RI), Yea
Wicker (R-MS), Nay
Wyden (D-OR), Yea