Senate confirmation hearings

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Senate Confirms Brennan for CIA

Rand Paul's filibuster delayed it but didn't derail it

(Newser) - John Brennan has won Senate confirmation to head the CIA after a late struggle that had more to do with presidential power to order drone strikes than with the nominee's credentials to lead the spy agency. The vote this afternoon was 63-34. Brennan will replace Mike Morrell, the acting... More »

Senate Confirms Jack Lew to Be Treasury Chief

He succeeds Geithner, has pretty cool signature

(Newser) - The Senate confirmed Jacob ("Jack") Lew to be Treasury secretary, affirming President Obama's choice of a budget expert at a time when Congress and the White House are at odds over sharp government spending cuts. The Senate voted 71-26 to support the nomination. Lew, 57, who had... More »

Senate Confirms Hagel as Defense Chief

Move follows end of GOP filibuster

(Newser) - It took a few weeks longer than expected, but the Senate today approved Chuck Hagel to be the next defense secretary. The final vote—58-41, with four Republicans voting in favor—came after the GOP dropped its unprecedented delay of President Obama's choice to head the Pentagon. The former... More »

Graham: I'll Block Brennan, Hagel Over Benghazi

Wants White House to 'fess up on what happened

(Newser) - Lindsey Graham says he's ready to block the confirmations of both Chuck Hagel and John Brennan if President Obama isn't a little more forthcoming with what he knows about the Benghazi consulate attack. "No confirmation without information," he said today, adding that the confirmations shouldn't... More »

Brennan's CIA Hearing: How Dramatic Will It Get?

Drones, torture hang over proceedings

(Newser) - John Brennan will head to Capitol Hill today for his CIA confirmation hearing, and everyone's wondering the same thing: How dramatic is this going to get? Questions are hanging in the air about the Obama administration's drone strikes, classified information, and torture, but there's a chance lawmakers... More »

McCain, Hagel Spar Over Iraq

Defense nominee says he's still not sure the surge was worth it

(Newser) - Chuck Hagel got into a testy verbal sparring match with John McCain at his Armed Services Committee hearing today, with McCain demanding that Hagel admit he was wrong when he warned against the "surge" in Iraq. Hagel tried to prevaricate: "I would defer to the judgment of history,... More »

Chuck Hagel Hearing: What He'll Face

Unprecedented opposition campaign could make for an interesting vote

(Newser) - Chuck Hagel heads to Capitol Hill for his confirmation hearing today, and one thing we can say with confidence: It won't be a John Kerry-esque cakewalk . Hagel's facing skepticism and outright opposition from both sides of the aisle over past stances, particularly on Israel and nuclear proliferation. But... More »

Senate Committee Approves Kerry for State Gig

He'll go before the full Senate later today

(Newser) - The Senate Foreign Relations Committee surprised exactly no one today by putting its seal of approval on John Kerry's nomination for secretary of State nomination. It would have been quite the upset if Kerry hadn't gotten the committee's approval, given that he has sat on it for... More »

Obama: Warren Will Fight for Middle Class

President taps adviser to set up consumer protection agency

(Newser) - President Obama named Wall Street critic Elizabeth Warren a special adviser today and tasked her with setting up a new agency to look out for consumers. Calling Warren "one of the country's fiercest advocates for the middle class," Obama said the new bureau would end abusive practices. "... More »

Republicans Bash Thurgood Marshall

Elena Kagan is suspect for link to notorious 'activist judge'

(Newser) - Republicans played the guilt-by-association game at Elena Kagan’s confirmation hearing yesterday, slamming the Supreme Court nominee for her ties to… Thurgood Marshall? The revered justice’s name came up 35 times during the first day of the hearing, compared to just 14 for President Obama, the Huffington Post reports,... More »

Senate Confirms 27 Obama Nominees

Critics accuse GOP of 'blinking'

(Newser) - Twenty-seven Obama nominees were confirmed last night following a tense exchange between the president and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Critics accused McConnell and the GOP of "blinking" in the face of the president's threat to make recess appointments over the President's Day break. Republicans denied the claim, saying... More »

Enough Already: Kennedy Was No Hero

(Newser) - You wouldn’t know it from the tearful plaudits in the "echo chamber of the mainstream media," but Ted Kennedy was no hero, Howie Carr writes for the Boston Herald. Kennedy was actually a ruthless partisan—he accused Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork of wanting "segregated lunch... More »

Supreme Newbie Faces Steep Learning Curve

(Newser) - Justices past and present say no amount of experience can prepare someone for the role Sonia Sotomayor is walking into, the New York Times reports. "I was frightened to death for the first three years," Justice Bremer, who joined the court in 1994, once admitted.  As the... More »

Senate Confirms Sotomayor

(Newser) - The Senate confirmed Sonia Sotomayor today as the first Hispanic justice on the Supreme Court. The vote was 68-31 for Sotomayor, President Barack Obama's first high court nominee. She becomes the 111th justice and just the third woman to serve. Democrats praised the 55-year-old Sotomayor as a mainstream moderate. But... More »

McCain Will Vote Against Sotomayor

Senator unable to support a 'judicial activist'

(Newser) - John McCain says he'll oppose Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor when the Senate votes on her confirmation this week. Despite Sotomayor's efforts to distance herself from her record, the Arizona Republican said today, Sotomayor is a judicial activist who has used her position as a judge to try to change... More »

GOP Looks Tacky in Vote on Sotomayor

(Newser) - Senate Republicans locked arms against Sonia Sotomayor yesterday … or would have, if they’d bothered to stay for the Judiciary Committee’s vote. Instead, half ducked out, leaving Jeff Sessions to repeat “No by proxy,” over and over, writes Dana Milbank in the Washington Post. It was... More »

Judiciary Committee Approves Sotomayor

(Newser) - The Senate Judiciary Committee has voted to approve Sonia Sotomayor to be the first Hispanic justice on the Supreme Court. The committee voted 13-6 this morning to send Sotomayor's nomination to the full Senate, where she's expected to be confirmed easily next week. Just one Republican, South Carolina's Lindsey Graham,... More »

Graham Blasts GOP's 'Blind Ideology'

Republican embraces bipartisanship on Sotomayor nomination

(Newser) - Lindsey Graham’s been on the Republican hot seat since throwing his support behind Sonia Sotomayor, but he doesn’t think much of the purity police attacking him. “I have no desire to be up here in an irrelevant status,” the senior senator from South Carolina tells Politico.... More »

GOP Delays Sotomayor Vote

(Newser) - The Senate Judiciary Committee today put off its vote on Sonia Sotomayor's Supreme Court nomination for one week, to July 28, after Republicans asked for a delay. Chairman Patrick Leahy says he is disappointed the Republicans held up the committee's action, but predicts Sotomayor will join the Supreme Court in... More »

These Hearings Are All About the Next Nominee

(Newser) - Three days, no bombshells: Sonia Sotomayor is a done deal for the Supreme Court. The humdrum proceedings still have value, however, write Peter Baker and Charlie Savage in the New York Times. It's all about the next nominee, and that could be a much bigger fight. If nothing else, Republicans... More »

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