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Chopra and Strickling Slide Through Confirmation Hearing

Kim Hart

The nominees for two top positions that will oversee technology policy sat before the Senate Commerce Committee this morning for a rather brief nominations hearing.

Aneesh Chopra, Virginia's Secretary of Technology who's been waiting in the wings to become the first federal Chief Technology Officer, told the panel he would apply the Obama administration's push for more "transparency, participation and collaboration" throughout government ranks. He said innovative technology would be used to "bend the health care cost curve," and "build high-growth jobs in all corners of the country." Chopra also pointed to his track record of implementing broadband and telework policies in Virginia to economically revitalize rural areas.

Lawrence Strickling, poised to head the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, told the committee that the digital television transition, slated for June 12, was his top priority. The backlog of converter box coupons and lack of funds -- two main reasons the transition was delayed from its original February deadline -- have been remedied, Strickling said. "All signs look to be promising," he said.

Most of the questions were pointed toward John D. Porcari, Deputy Secretary nominee for the U.S. Department of Transportation, and J. Randolph Babbitt, nominee to become Federal Aviation Administration Administrator.

The nominees have to submit answers to written questions by this evening so the committee can make final decisions tomorrow.

By Kim Hart  |  May 19, 2009; 12:32 PM ET  | Category:  Kim Hart
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