President Obama's picks for science advisor (John Holdren) and NOAA administrator (Jane Lubchenco) are being blocked from receiving confirmation because of the anonymous holds of one or more Senators. Mike Dunford at The Questionable Authority has been following the story for at least a week and writes today that:
As I've already said - possibly to the point of inducing tedium - the scientific community needs to keep pressure on the Senate. There are so many other things going on in Washington right now that this issue is not going to get much more attention from the traditional media than it already has.
We don't know exactly which Senator(s) have placed the holds, but as Majority Leader Harry Reid can move the confirmation process forward even with the holds in place. While NOAA will continue to function without an administrator and the President is plenty busy these days even with no science advisor, having these positions blocked is a real impediment to developing and implementing a new vision for science in this new administration. If you think that the Senate should stop playing politics with qualified, competent picks for Obama's science team, take a few minutes to contact your Senators and send an email to Harry Reid. Thanks.
I saw this yesterday and was going to send you an email about it. From what I understand, it was Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) who put the hold on them, but I haven't read into the details.
Thanks for the post and trying to rally the troops. I'll be sending emails today!