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The confirmation of two of President Obama’s top science advisers was delayed yesterday as several senators placed anonymous holds on what was expected to be a quick vote. John Holdren and Jane Lubchenco, Obama’s nominees to head the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, respectively, were first blocked by a hold from Senator Robert Menendez (D–N.J.), for reasons unrelated to the nominees themselves. But new reports emerged later that Menendez was not the only senator to place a hold. John D. Rockefeller IV (D–W.Va.), chairman of the Senate committee overseeing the nominations, called the move “infuriating. They’re brilliant scientists.”

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