In an effort to prod the White House into following through on its promise to renominate William Massey, a Democrat, to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has blocked many of President Bush’s judicial and other nominees.
Earlier this month Feinstein played an important role in advancing two of Bush’s nominees, Joseph T. Kelliher and Suedeen Kelly, to the five-member panel in exchange for Massey’s renomination (see Daily GPI, Nov. 11). But so far the Bush Administration has not lived up to its end of the bargain.
“We had an agreement, and they haven’t moved forward with their end of the agreement,” said Howard Gantman, a spokesman for the senator. Congress may adjourn as soon as the end of this week or early next week, and still there has been no word on Massey’s reappointment, he said. “It needs to be done really immediately in order to make it through Congress before we adjourn.”
He said Feinstein’s hold covers a wide range of Bush nominees awaiting Senate confirmation to take office. Most involve minor boards and commissions. “There are a variety of holds, but she’s not placing a hold on any critical homeland security nominees, on any ambassadors, or any military nominees or any other nominees who are critical to the security of our nation,” he said.
Under Senate rules, any senator can stop a bill or a nomination from being considered by placing a “hold” on it.
Republicans last week held a 40-hour nonstop debate to call attention to Democratic filibusters of six of Bush’s judicial nominations. The Senate has confirmed 168 of Bush’s federal trial and appeals court nominations, and Democrats are blocking six.
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