DoS Nominees: More Senate Holds and Jams?

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Laura Rozen of The Cable reported on June 19 that “a Congressional source says that Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) put a hold on all State Department nominees earlier this week because he is not satisfied with the information he has been receiving from the administration on the progress of arms control negotiations with Russia.”

Over twenty State Department nominees are still pending in the SFRC. The following have been cleared by the Senate panel but with a blanket hold could be kept from going to a unanimous consent Senate floor vote:


Ellen O. Tauscher
, of California, to be Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, vice Robert Joseph, resigned. Jun 16, 2009 Reported by Mr. Kerry, Committee on Foreign Relations, without printed report. [The Cable reported unconfirmed reports that Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) has placed a blanket hold on all State Department nominees].


Kurt M. Campbell
, of the District of Columbia, to be an Assistant Secretary of State (East Asian and Pacific Affairs), vice Christopher R. Hill, resigned. Jun 16, 2009 Reported by Mr. Kerry, Committee on Foreign Relations, without printed report. [The Cable reported unconfirmed reports that Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) has placed a blanket hold on all State Department nominees].


Harold Hongju Koh
, of Connecticut, to be Legal Adviser of the Department of State, vice John B. Bellinger III, resigned. May 13, 2009 Reported by Mr. Kerry, Committee on Foreign Relations, without printed report. [Anonymous hold; unconfirmed reports that the hold was placed by Sens. John Cornyn (R-TX) and David Vitter (R-LA)].


Jeffrey D. Feltman
, of Ohio, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister- Counselor, to be an Assistant Secretary of State (Near Eastern Affairs), vice C. David Welch, resigned. May 19, 2009 Reported by Mr. Kerry, Committee on Foreign Relations, without printed report. [The Cable reported on May 22 that Carl Levin (D-MI) placed a hold on this nomination]

Laura Rozen in the same report writes that one source says “Republicans are threatening to put appointments for the entire administration on hold due to their ire over the scheduling of Obama’s Supreme Court justice nominee Sonia Sotomayor for a July hearing.”

Oh, sweet joy! Don’t you just love ire?

Ire — personified as one of the deadly sins, fatal to one’s spiritual development and progress, but what the heck …

President Bush nominated Judge Sam Alito on October 31, 2005 as one of the Supremes. The WH sent his nomination to the Senate on November 10, 2005. The Senate voted to confirm Judge Alito as the 110th Justice of the Supreme Court on January 31, 2006. About three months, more or less 80 days after the Senate received the nomination!


Judge John Roberts
was nominated by President Bush as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States on September 5, 2005, his nomination was sent to the Senate on September 6, 2005, and he was confirmed on September 29, 2005. Less than a month; he got his confirmation via a bullet train in 23 days!

President Obama announced the nomination of U.S. appeals court Judge Sonia Sotomayor of New York for the Supreme Court on May 26, 2009. Judge Sotomayor’s nomination was sent to the Senate on June 1st. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Pat Leahy reportedly has set July 13 as start date for her nomination hearings. That’ll be 43 days after her nomination was sent to the Senate, and that’s just the start of the hearings. Ugh! I bet somebody will put a hold on her nomination, too – maybe for wearing a pink suit to her nomination hearings. Or as pay back for something, anything …

And you wonder why folks get jaded with politics?

Update:
See The CableConfirmation Logjam Breaks?

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