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Labor, GSA nominees confirmed by the Senate

By Ed O'Keefe

Updated 3:37 p.m. ET

The Senate on Thursday held its first votes of the year on executive branch nominees and confirmed M. Patricia Smith to serve as the Labor Department's top lawyer and Martha N. Johsnon after months of Republican efforts to stall their nominations.

Senators voted 60 to 37 to confirm Smith after she cleared a cloture vote on Monday. Johnson also cleared the procedural hurdle and was approved 94 to 2.

Republican senators objected to Smith's nomination, saying her Senate testimony contradicted documents obtained by GOP committee staffers about New York's Wage Watch program. The project, started in January and modeled after the Neighborhood Watch program, is an effort to root out companies that do not pay proper wages.

Sen. Christopher S. Bond (R-Mo.) placed a hold on Johnson in July over disagreements about the future construction of a new federal building in downtown Kansas City. (A feud that reminds The Eye of the classic tune, "Everything's Up to Date in Kansas City.")

On Thursday he called GSA “a tangled mess of bureaucracy I have been fighting the last five years,” but said his decision to block Johnson had nothing to do with her qualifications.

Track all Obama nominees with The Post's Head Count

By Ed O'Keefe  | February 4, 2010; 1:24 PM ET
Categories:  Congress, Revolving Door  
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These nasty GOP dinosaurs. Bond wanting a new federal building but will rile against gov't spending. Isn't it pork in the eyes of other senators? Why can't he submit his pork request so everyone can see? Why hide? Is it because he is a loud mouth weasel? I'm sick and fed up with these old men acting like playground bullies.

God is slow to act in the eyes of men but make no mistake. He acts in mysterious ways.

Posted by: hadelaide | February 4, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

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