The Questionable Authority

To the best of my knowledge, there have been no significant developments in the continuing saga of “who is blocking the science nominees in the Senate”. Progressive Alaska’s Philip Munger noted in a comment here that Senator Mark Begich’s (D-AK) office says Begich is not involved, and that he has received additional information pointing to David Vitter as the culprit. Meanwhile, Talking Points Memo’s Elana Schor reports that she’s received denials from both Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and John Barrasso (R-WY) – and that’s in addition to the denial she received from Vitter yesterday.

In the absence of information, the only recourse for those of us interested in trying to push this issue forward remains contacting our own Senators and the office of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. (Contact information for those folks can be found in my earlier posts on the topic.) As I’ve said before, it’s important to keep pressure up on this. Anything you can do will be helpful.

Comments

  1. #1 Matt
    March 11, 2009

    Here are a couple of notes (We’ve been following this also at DemConWatch).

    Your timeline from yesterday is missing an important milestone. The Commerce Committee actually approved the nominations, although it’s not clear when it happened. (I assumed the same day as the hearing, Feb 12, but I can’t find confirmation of that).

    Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) challenged several dire environmental predictions Holdren made a few decades ago, but the senator did not block the Senate panel from endorsing his nomination last month.

    But given that, the following is strange. The Senate has just put on their hearing calendar for March 12:

    Thursday, Mar. 12, 2009
    12:00 am
    Commerce, Science, and Transportation
    Hearings to examine the nominations of John P. Holdren, of Massachusetts, to be Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Jane Lubchenco, of Oregon, to be Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, both of the Department of Commerce, and routine promotion lists in the Coast Guard.

    This might imply that they weren’t really approved, or maybe these are additional hearings, or maybe it’s just a web mistake (Note the 12 AM time). But it’s worth keeping an eye on tomorrow.

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