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Voinovich places hold on DHS nominee

By Ed O'Keefe

Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio) has placed a hold on the Obama administration's nominee for the number three job at the Department of Homeland Security.

Rafael Borras was nominated in July to to serve as the department's undersecretary for management. Despite its less-than-sexy title, observers consider the role critical at the government's third-largest Cabinet department.

"I have a hold on Mr. Borras, who is supposed to take this job," Voinovich said Tuesday morning at a Senate subcommittee hearing on DHS management issues. "The reason I do... and I expressed it to the secretary, and also to the administration that I do not believe that that individual is qualified to take this very, very important position."

Voinovich suggested that the current undersecretary, Elaine Duke, is qualified for the position and should stay on. Duke is a holdover from the Bush administration who took the job in June 2008.

"You've done a really good job, I really appreciate it," the senator told Duke, who was a witness at the hearing.

No immediate word on what Voinovich wants in return for the hold or for how long he plans to tie up the nomination.

Borras previously served as the city manager for Hartford, Conn. and New Rochelle, N.Y. and was most recently a vice president at global engineering services firm URS Corp.

Track all of Obama's nominees with The Post's Head Count

By Ed O'Keefe  | December 15, 2009; 6:35 PM ET
Categories:  Congress, Revolving Door  
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And what were Duke's qualifications prior to her appointment to this position, please? When a single senator can oppose a presidential nominee without serious cause, the system is broken.
The GOP is truly the Grand Opposition Party.

Posted by: Lamentations | December 15, 2009 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Department of Homeland Security.

Who named this Department and were they joking?

And who's brilliant idea was it to collect a bunch of political appointees/party loyalists and have them run security checks on everyone else.

I know the Soviet Union and East Germany crumbled, but do we really need to be first in line to take their place with a clumsy politically biased domestic security apparatus.

Posted by: yerit | December 15, 2009 8:11 PM | Report abuse

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