01.31.2010 0

ALG in the News: Reid Schedules Vote on Controversial Labor Nominee Before Brown Arrives

  • On: 02/03/2010 09:20:02
  • In: Appointments

  • ALG Editor’s Note: In the following featured article, Fox News quotes ALG Research Director Don Todd.

    Reid Schedules Vote on Controversial Labor Nominee Before Brown Arrives

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has scheduled a key vote Monday afternoon on a controversial Labor Department nominee, even though Republican Sen.-elect Scott Brown has not been sworn in yet.

    The vote has riled at least one watchdog group, saying Reid is just trying to ram through the nomination of Patricia Smith for Labor Department solicitor before Republicans have enough votes to block her. And a spokesman for Sen. Mike Enzi, the Republican senator who had put a “hold” on Smith’s nomination last year, said Enzi would prefer “all controversial nominations” be put off until Brown is seated.

    Enzi, ranking Republican on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, put out a report Monday saying Smith’s “lack of candor” in prior testimony before his committee makes her “unqualified” for the post.

    Republicans have widely objected to Smith’s nomination. Every Republican on the Senate panel screening Smith for the post went on record in opposition back in October, citing “discrepancies” in her congressional testimony. Enzi, R-Wyo., put a hold on the nomination around the same time, meaning Smith would need 60 votes to overcome a procedural hurdle in the Senate.

    Democrats currently have 60 votes, but that number will drop to 59 once Brown is sworn in.

    “He’d be the 41st vote (against) cloture,” said Don Todd, research director with Americans for Limited Government. He said Reid should hold off, given that he said the Senate would not “rush into anything” after Brown was elected in the Massachusetts special election. At the time, Reid was referring mainly to health care reform.

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