Senate Panel's Tax Scrutiny Hampers Confirmations

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 3, 2009 2:15 PM CDT
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., left, and the committee's ranking Republican Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The sheer number of tax-related problems that have slowed confirmation of Obama nominees has some insisting the process has become tougher, Time reports. Not so, says Sen. Charles Grassley. “We are vetting nominees for the current administration the same way we vetted nominees for the previous administration,” said the ranking Republican on the Finance Committee.

Whether or not the process has changed, the perception that it’s tougher is keeping nominees away: Witness the numerous unfilled positions in the Obama administration. “This is a new procedure,” one official said, “and it has created an incredible anxiety on tax issues.” Insiders say the Senate is scrutinizing discrepancies of as little as $14. “In the past,” a lawyer said, “it wouldn't be the public torture that is going on today.”