Republicans Picking a Fight Over Holder

Dems need one GOP vote to move AG pick out of committee
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser User
Posted Jan 9, 2009 10:45 AM CST
Marc Rich is shown in this Nov. 27, 2000, file photo in Switzerland. Holder's role in Rich's pardon is expected to attract scrutiny.   (AP Photo/Urs Flueeler, file)
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(Newser) – Senate Republicans seem to have settled on attorney-general-designate Eric Holder as their main target for a tough confirmation hearing. Thanks to his liberal leanings and his role in the Clinton administration—especially the controversial 11th-hour Marc Rich pardon—Holder will get a grilling in the Judiciary Committee. Ranking Republican Arlen Specter tells the AP: “This guy has serious questions to answer. I'm not flexing political muscles.”

Politico notes that because Joe Biden’s spot on Judiciary is empty, a party-line vote would produce a nine-nine tie. Committee chairman Pat Leahy is confident that the GOP is all talk, and serious Republicans will come around. Says Leahy, “It could be a nine-nine tie, but I’ve had (Republican) senators tell me privately that of course they’re going to vote for Eric Holder.”