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GOP reportedly holding up Homeland Security, Treasury picks

By Ed O'Keefe

Republican concerns about Transportation Security Administration nominee Erroll Southers have drawn plenty of attention this week, but Republicans are also holding up votes on nominees for the Treasury and Homeland Security departments, according to multiple sources.

Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) has placed a hold on Michael Mundaca, nominated to serve as Treasury's assistant secretary for tax policy, sources said. Kyl's office did not return repeated requests for comment, but the lawmaker is reportedly upset with the Obama administration's delay of new Internet gambling prohibitions.

An unknown Republican is also stalling the nomination of Caryn Wagner, Obama's pick for Homeland Security's undersecretary for intelligence and analysis, congressional sources said.

The holds could be dropped by the time senators return to Washington later this month. Holds often occur anonymously, can go unnoticed and may last for only a brief period as issues of concern are resolved. Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid has said he will call for a cloture vote on Southers when the Senate returns. His staff was more than willing to criticize Republican holds, especially those on Southers and Wagner.

"These positions are critical in protecting our nation's security and it is vital that they are confirmed as quickly as possible," said Reid spokesman Jim Manley. "The president announced his recommendations and we will work with him as we continue to strengthen our nation's security."

A spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) would not comment.

Eight Homeland Security nominees and six Treasury picks await confirmation, according to The Post's Head Count. Obama has yet to fill five positions at Treasury and two at DHS, according to our tracking.

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below

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

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 8, 2010; 1:18 PM ET
Categories:  Congress  
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Comments

What do you expect from Republicans when their stated goal is to disrupt (and eventually dismantle) the government? Unfortunately, they are willing to hurt all of us in their quest.

Posted by: rousehouse | January 8, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse


For decades, both parties have been guilty of wanton holds on nominees.

Any nominee had better be patient.

That's not right, it just is.

And will ever be. Welcome to Washington.

Posted by: DagnyT | January 8, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

didn't the dem do this too...
so whats good for the goose...
you know what I mean...

Posted by: DwightCollins | January 8, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Kyl is obsessing about internet gambling? To the extent that he will block the appointment of a key official dealing with tax policy? Will Kyl's irresponsibility lead to the country's collapse? And we worry about terrorists!

Posted by: lowercaselarry | January 8, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

didn't the dem do this too...
so whats good for the goose...
you know what I mean...

Posted by: DwightCollins
======================================
Yes they did and the Republicans before them and so on back as far as I can recall. Isn't time for both parties to stop this nonsense? If the nominee is qualifed then let them come up for a vote, voice your objections in public and see if you can convince enough Senators to join you. If not, too bad.

I hold out little hope that either party will be mature enough to do that.

Posted by: pjjacobs | January 8, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

I'd follow that money to Kyl for internet gambling. That's not hard to figure out. When is the Common Man going to be taken care of. It's a big money grab and the working stiff is getting just that stiffed.

Posted by: jerseydevil | January 8, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

I find it to be whining that the Dems, with 58 sure votes and 2 independents that lean toward them, can accuse the Reps of holding up appointments. Advise and consent really means the Pres need 3/5 of the senators present to say yes. This is an administration cheap shot.

Anyway if this means we the taxpayers are shelling out 160K a year for yet more senior government officials, then even these small victories are worth it.

Posted by: PanhandleWilly | January 8, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

This exchange about sums it up:

didn't the dem do this too...
so whats good for the goose...
you know what I mean...

Posted by: DwightCollins
======================================
Yes they did and the Republicans before them and so on back as far as I can recall. Isn't time for both parties to stop this nonsense? If the nominee is qualifed then let them come up for a vote, voice your objections in public and see if you can convince enough Senators to join you. If not, too bad.

I hold out little hope that either party will be mature enough to do that.

Posted by: pjjacobs
_______________

Thank you, pjjacobs, for being the mature one in that exchange. I wrote a very similar comment for the article pertaining to the Southers appointment as head of TSA. Senators with concerns SHOULD raise them, but they must persuade their fellows about the validity of those concerns, not merely obstruct. I think this would make sense to people of ANY party.

Posted by: post_reader_in_wv | January 8, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

This exchange about sums it up:

didn't the dem do this too...
so whats good for the goose...
you know what I mean...

Posted by: DwightCollins
======================================
Yes they did and the Republicans before them and so on back as far as I can recall. Isn't time for both parties to stop this nonsense? If the nominee is qualifed then let them come up for a vote, voice your objections in public and see if you can convince enough Senators to join you. If not, too bad.

I hold out little hope that either party will be mature enough to do that.

Posted by: pjjacobs
_______________

Thank you, pjjacobs, for being the mature one in that exchange. I wrote a very similar comment for the article pertaining to the Southers appointment as head of TSA. Senators with concerns SHOULD raise them, but they must persuade their fellows about the validity of those concerns, not merely obstruct. I think this would make sense to people of ANY party.

----
In summary, both parties are acting like a 5 year old child.
Like you, I have also raised such concern about the Souther nomination as well.
I'm in agreement with what you have stated and does show maturity which does not happened often because of the partisan nature of our politics.

Posted by: beeker25 | January 8, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

pjjacobs & beeker25 should run for Congress!!!

Posted by: dhenken1 | January 8, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Sadly, the U.S. Senate seems to have become a dysfunctional, special interest driven, private debating club. Don't be fooled by the long hours they worked in December. Prior to that, they normally only operated Tues-Thurs. of any week. And, where are they now? Doing what they normally do-raising money for their next re-election campaign so they can eventually retire and become rich lobbyists.

Posted by: BBear1 | January 8, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Oh the games people play now, every way and every day now...

Posted by: whocares666 | January 8, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

RichFromTampa wrote:
C'mon,people. Steele is over his head in this position.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Exercising some cautions about Obama nominees is better late than never. So far we have people who really suck.
Timmy "al capone" Geithner the tax evader, Rahm "bonus boy " Emanuel,
Eric "black cat" Holder,
Janet "Dotty disease Queen"Napolitano,
"La Raza" Van Jones

sounds like the lineup to the corrupt Chitown ball , (and we all now know anyone can crash an Obama ball).

Posted by: dottydo | January 8, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

I read in the Washington Examiner that some Republicans are upset that Souther may have offered misleading testimony previously, regarding improper use of FBI resources for personal purposes (investigating his ex-wife's ex-boyfriend, who had an outstanding arrest warrant, as it turns out). I didn't see that in WaPo; WaPo insinuated that it was because a SC senator was opposed to unionizing TSA.

You just can't believe what you read in WaPo. Might be true, might not be true. But between the reporting and the copy editing, I have to believe the writing is often not the product of a great amount of effort.

Posted by: gbooksdc | January 8, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Why do Republics and their fellow travelers hate America so and love their comrades in al-Qaeda?

Were they dropped on their heads as children?

Time to draft the Party of No and their combat-avoiding members.

Posted by: WillSeattle | January 8, 2010 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Well, OF COURSE, Republicans are holding up nominees! They promised they would do everything in their power to prevent our government from functioning under a new President.
It is the ONLY promise they have ever kept.

Posted by: cms1 | January 8, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Its the third plank of the G-NO-P platform. The first plank is fear, the second hate, the third obstruct.

These neo-fascists would rather bring our country to its knees than have to admit their policies have been nothing but failures for over a century. Not just Republicans but the entire right wing has been dead wrong about everything since reconstruction. Today we are living through the first economic depression of the third millennium and these people refuse to allow the Democrats an opportunity to clean up another one of their messes. I used to think conservatives were part of the problem in this country but their continued actions show us all that they are the entire problem.

Posted by: BigTrees | January 8, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats are the engine trying to move this country forward. The Republicans are the mass of clattering tin cans tied to the rear bumper.

Posted by: chuck8 | January 8, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Big Trees is right. The current Republican Party has become so beholden to whoever they are beholden to (take your pick: corporations, international corporations, the ultra-rich, the Tea-Baggers, racists, Big Oil, and on it goes as long as their selected individuals are getting richer and richer and richer and devolve political power to THEM)....they are SO beholden that only their extinction as a political party will serve OUR nation.
Republicans serve MANY nations because their business interests are worldwide. Major Republican players are really no longer Americans at all. They serve their own economic interests. Their own wealth interests.
This is to say that there are many individuals who "pose" as Americans, have lived and been raised in America, have been educated in America, and used to say the pledge of allegiance as children every day and believed every thing their Greatest Generation parents told them to believe, who do not remain Americans.
They just DO NOT have any economic interest in remaining Americans, except for the benefits, of course.

Posted by: cms1 | January 8, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

read in the Washington Examiner that some Republicans are upset that Souther may have offered misleading testimony previously, regarding improper use of FBI resources for personal purposes (investigating his ex-wife's ex-boyfriend, who had an outstanding arrest warrant, as it turns out). I didn't see that in WaPo; WaPo insinuated that it was because Posted a SC senator was opposed to unionizing TSA.

by: gbooksdc | January 8, 2010 6:12 PM

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Republicans never mentioned the 20 year ago incident until Jim DeMint began to take heat for holding up the nomination. It was never an issue. They are now only bringing it up just to take the heat off of themselves for obstructing the running of our government. If you go back and look at interviews DeMint has given about this he says that he is holding the nomination up only because he THINKS Southers MIGHT allow unions at the TSA. The committee knew about the incident and knew about the changes made to his statement and they did not have a problem. Ask Joe Lieberman and the other person on the committee. was a female Republican.

Posted by: catmomtx | January 8, 2010 8:38 PM | Report abuse

GREAT SCOTT!! When will the Party of NO come to realize they are not hurting the Democrats, they are significantly hurting every American Citizen - those who believe in this country; those who want this country to succeed; those who want this country to once again be truly admired for what it stands. Do we have to keep repeating to the Party of NO - THE DEMOCRATS WON THE ELECTION. ACCEPT IT AND TRY TO CONTRIBUTE WHAT WILL AMOUNT TO SOMETHING. I FIRMLY believe 'you can always tell a Republican, but you can't tell him or her much.' Betty Sher

Posted by: rbsher | January 8, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Never have I seen a party so interested in blocking progress for the sake of political points. Hopefully people will see just how bad they are for this country.

Posted by: ravensfan20008 | January 8, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Would these be the same senators who when they held a very narrow majority, but because of the oddities of our system actually represented less than 40% of the nation, insisted on "up or down votes" on the most unqualified extremist ideologe judges chimp dubya bush forwarded, regardless that these were lifetime appointments? Would this be them? The ones who threatened a "nuclear option" to shove racist cretins into the federal court system? Now they are f-ing with homeland security because they hate unions / working people. They are lower than whale carp. Despicable low life vermin.

Posted by: John1263 | January 8, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

What appalling Republican hypocrisy! When Bush/Cheney were torturing people, their excuse was that this was supposedly necessary in order to protect America's security. Now the Republicans are showing that this was all a massive fraud and that they care nothing about keeping America safe, but only about trying to make it impossible for Obama and the Democrats to govern. The Republicans are the hate-America party. Heaven help us if they ever take over Congress or the White House again.

Posted by: algasema | January 9, 2010 3:17 AM | Report abuse

There is only one exception to my above comment. Why didn't anyone put a hold on the totally incompetent Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano? She seems to be blissfully unaware that protecting America from terrorists is more important than breaking up families of Mexican immigrants with US citizen spouses or children, or punishing employers for the "crime" of hiring Indian computer professionals legally.

Posted by: algasema | January 9, 2010 3:27 AM | Report abuse

Excuse me, isn't the correct headline, 'Obama submits problematic appointees to critical positions, holding up Homeland Security, Treasury picks.'

Posted by: prossers7 | January 9, 2010 5:24 AM | Report abuse


Why is the weaselly word "reportedly" in the headline when the article itself proves the point?

Posted by: soxeryn | January 9, 2010 5:48 AM | Report abuse

I guess internet gambling has a higher priority than national security and tax law. Yay. For the people, by the people, of the people. My left nut.

Posted by: swatkins1 | January 9, 2010 7:32 AM | Report abuse

As a resdient of AZ, you can bet that I will not be voting for either Kyl or McCain. They are two who are poster boys for term limits - both who scream about "entitlements" when they have absolutely NO problem with the fact the we, the taxpayers, subsidize 75% of their health care as members of Congress.

Posted by: Utahreb | January 9, 2010 8:13 AM | Report abuse

I actually get a bit of a chuckle at these articles that claim obstruction by the Repubs. When the shoe was on the other foot (repubs in charge and Dems putting blocks on appointees/issues) the Dems claimed that the Repubs were dragging their feet in getting things done. Now how is it that when a Republican puts up a hand and says "whoa", it is "Republicans holding up Progress", but when a Democrat puts up their hand and says "whoa", it is Republicans dragging their feet. Do Democrats EVER take responsibility for their own actions? Or are they all like Obama, passing the buck? A past Democrat, Harry Truman, had a sign on his desk that stated, 'THE BUCK STOPS HERE", but the Democrats of today need signs on all of their desks that say "HERE, THE BUCK NEVER STOPS" (until we can blame a Republican).

Posted by: jonweiss1 | January 9, 2010 8:21 AM | Report abuse

The shallow ugliness of the political parties is disgusting. With the repugs constant obstruction, denials and deception it is hard to see where we will ever become civilized. Unless, of course, face paint, hair spray, and expensive clothing is what determines civility.

Posted by: aorj | January 9, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

"A spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) would not comment."

Of course not! McConnell isn't a leader he and his wife are lobbyists.

The G"NO"P is being pushed around by the money grubbers like McPalin, Giuliani and Gingrich.

Posted by: The-Historian | January 9, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Reportedly? ....where did you learn how to report? You don't know or are you too afraid to say anything bad about your right wing bosses? Or perhaps trying to have it both by taking the sting out of the story. First go and find out for sure before you write a story you moron

Posted by: kevin1231 | January 9, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

The goal is to weaken government,allow Obama to be attacked for not filling positions and win an election. Thats it. Reviewing the Bush administration appointments showed it is of no concern if a person is qualified the positions are payoffs and often go to the guys the special interest chose.

Posted by: ephetsgma | January 9, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

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