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Senate Confirms Labor Solicitor

February 4, 2010 - by Eric Naing

After nearly ten months of waiting, the Department of Labor finally has a solicitor. The Senate today, in a party-line vote of 60-37, confirmed Patricia Smith, President Obama's nominee to serve as the department's top lawyer. All 58 Democrats as well as Sen. Joe Lieberman [I, CT] and Sen. Bernie Sanders [I, VT] were needed to overcome a Republican filibuster blocking Smith. But with Scott Brown expected to join the Senate soon, Democrats will lose that 60th vote and will have to court at leas...

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The Senate Puts The White House On Hold

February 1, 2010 - by Eric Naing

Plenty of ink has been spilled over the filibuster, but there is another obscure procedure that has ground the Senate to a halt: the hold. As I previously noted, a hold placed by Sen. Mike Enzi [R, WY] on solicitor of the Department of Labor nominee Patricia Smith played a key role in delaying her confirmation by several months. But Smith is far from the only Obama appointee to have their nomination tripped up by a Senate hold. Any Senator can place a hold on a bill or measure, pretty much ...

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Ms. Smith Goes To Washington

February 1, 2010 - by Eric Naing

After nearly ten months of waiting, the Senate this evening will finally vote to advance the nomination of Patricia Smith as solicitor of the Department of Labor – the top lawyer at the department. Smith was nominated to the position in April of last year, but since then has joined a number of Obama appointees that have been nominated but can not start working because the Senate has not confirmed them. Other notable members of this club include Dawn Johnsen, nominated to head the Department of...

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