The Questionable Authority

The New York Times has just reported that the Senate Commerce Committee held a closed-door, unannounced markup earlier today. During the markup, the Committee unanimously approved both John Holdren and Jane Lubchenco, and both nominations are expected to move to the floor.

According to the Times, both John Rockefeller (the Committee Chair) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (the ranking Republican) say that all holds that they know of have been released, and that the nominees should be confirmed sometime this week.

I’ll keep an eye on this story, and let you know if there are any changes. I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to contact members of the Senate, and everyone who tolerated several days of my near monomaniacal focus on this issue.

Comments

  1. #1 Rick
    March 12, 2009

    Mike, thanks for your strong focus on this issue. Besides the urgency of restoring scientific leadership (and integrity) to the Executive branch, there’s another reason:

    For at least the next 2 years (and probably even after the midterm elections), the Senate will act as THE GREAT DELAYER. Given our race past climate tipping points, (… to mangle a metaphor …), Legislation delayed is Environmental Justice denied. Permanently. Irreversibly.

    It’s crucial that Democrats (e.g, Menendez, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Landrieu of LA) not be allowed to undercut any of Obama’s initiatives. Because if we give those Democrats an inch, the Republicans will take a mile!

  2. #2 Philip Munger
    March 13, 2009

    Rick rises an important point, no less so because it is historically obvious. The Senate has always been, always will be the great delayer in our creaky democracy. The letter delivered today, by eight Democrats declaring their right to join with Republicans to “filibuster climate change legislation,” shows – once again – how troublesome Senate structure can be when something should be dealt with speedily.

    Those eight are:

    Robert Byrd (WV), Blanche Lincoln (AR), Ben Nelson (NE), Evan Bayh (IN), Mark Pryor (AR), Bob Casey (PA), Carl Levin (MI), and Mary Landrieu (LA).

  3. #3 Mike Dunford
    March 13, 2009

    He certainly does raise a good point, and it’s one I’m hoping I’ll be able to take a look at in the near future. I’m planning to start with a detailed look at the “hold”, where it came from, and what it does. But not until after these two nominees are confirmed.

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