July 27, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - President Obama's choice to be the No. 2 official at the Department of Homeland Security used his appearance before a Senate panel Thursday to adamantly deny allegations that he helped a politically connected company obtain a foreign investor visa. But the lawmakers who may need the most convincing - the eight Republican members of the Senate Homeland Security Committee - weren't in the room for the nearly two-hour confirmation hearing. Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, the panel's ranking Republican, said in a statement that he wouldn't participate in the hearing until allegations against Alejandro Mayorkas were resolved.
July 25, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - President Obama's choice to be the No. 2 official at the Homeland Security Department is under investigation for his role in helping a company run by a brother of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, the Associated Press has learned. Alejandro Mayorkas, director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, is being investigated in connection with efforts to secure an international investor visa for a Chinese executive, according to congressional officials briefed on the investigation.
July 20, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The Senate plugged two more vacancies in President Obama's second-term leadership team on Thursday, confirming Thomas Perez as labor secretary and Gina McCarthy as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. After months of Democratic complaints that Republicans were stalling Obama's efforts to staff his administration and the federal courts, the spurt of movement followed a bipartisan deal reached Tuesday. Republicans agreed to allow votes on seven nominations, and Democrats in return shelved efforts to change Senate rules to weaken the minority GOP's powers.
July 19, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Samantha Power, President Obama's choice as U.N. ambassador, acknowledged Wednesday that the United Nations was unlikely to take decisive action soon to halt Syria's civil war, and she pledged to work to eliminate what she termed the organization's anti-Israel "bias. " She also said that, if confirmed by the Senate, she would try to make the United Nations more efficient and stand up for freedom. Her confirmation appeared likely. Several Republicans said Power would be a force in New York, even as they pressed the former journalist, human rights campaigner, and author to clarify several decade-old comments that the lawmakers suggested were critical of Israel or the United States.
July 12, 2013 |
HARRISBURG - Penn State's former president Graham Spanier initiated a libel and defamation case yesterday against Louis Freeh, the former FBI director who a year ago produced a report for the school that was highly critical of Spanier's role in the child sex-abuse scandal involving longtime assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. Paperwork filed in Centre County disclosed little about the nature of his claims, but checked off a box on a court system form that described the case as "slander/libel/defamation.
July 11, 2013
The Senate can show a modicum of civility this summer by confirming qualified nominees to a trio of important federal agencies. Senators should stop sitting on President Obama's March nomination of Gina McCarthy to head the Environmental Protection Agency. McCarthy joined the EPA in 2009 after many years as a state regulator. Also in limbo is the leadership of the Department of Labor. In March, Obama nominated Thomas Perez, whose background as head of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division makes him well qualified to head the department.
May 16, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday approved President Obama's nominee for U.S. ambassador to Libya, a post that has been vacant since insurgents attacked the diplomatic mission in Benghazi in September, killing Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. With little discussion, the panel on a voice vote approved Deborah Kay Jones, a career diplomat who has served in Kuwait, Argentina, Syria, Iraq and Turkey. Sen. Robert Menendez (D., N.J.)
April 11, 2013 |
NASCAR CHAMPION Dale Jarrett headlined the 25 nominees announced Wednesday for next year's Hall of Fame class - a list that finally includes track magnate Bruton Smith . Only five nominees are new to the list, with the other 20 carrying over from last year. Joining Jarrett and Smith as the new nominees were engine builder Maurice Petty , five-time NASCAR weekly series national champion Larry Phillips and 1960 NASCAR champion Rex White . Five people will be selected for induction into the fifth Hall of Fame Class in May 22 voting by a 54-member panel.
April 10, 2013 |
A senior fellow at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton Business School is one of three nominations made Tuesday by President Obama for appointments to the National Labor Relations Board. Philip A. Miscimarra, a Penn law school graduate, serves as managing director of the Wharton Center for Human Resources Research Advisory Group and is the employment law adviser to Wharton's Financial Services Group. Miscimarra is a partner in Morgan Lewis's labor and employment practice in Chicago, a cochair of the firm's Workforce Change practice and is one of two Republican nominees to the five-member board.
March 13, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Richard Cordray received polite questions - and even a few compliments - from a panel of U.S. senators at his nomination hearing Tuesday on Capitol Hill. After two hours of testimony, however, his chances for being confirmed as director of Washington's newest consumer watchdog agency looked grim. Members of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee did not dispute the former Ohio attorney general's background or his qualifications to serve as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.