Monday, December 28, 2009

Four Treasury Dept Nominees Left Hanging As Senate Leaves Town

According to, the Senate adjourned Thursday for a break that will last until January 20th, 2010. Although the Senate was able to pass a health care bill, and raise the government’s debt limit, they left four Treasury Department nominees waiting on their confirmation.

Those nominees include Lael Brainard, the White House's pick for Treasury under-secretary for international affairs, whose nomination had been delayed for months as Senate Finance Committee staff scrutinized her tax returns.

The Finance Committee approved the nominations of Brainard and the other three Treasury officials Wednesday, but the nominations did not clear the full Senate because of an objection from at least one senator. At press time the source of the objection could not be learned.

Meanwhile, the Senate confirmed Miriam Sapiro as Deputy U.S. Trade Representative, before adjourning. It also confirmed Paul Anastas as an assistant administrator at the Environmental Protection Agency, and John Norris as a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

The other Treasury nominees who will have to wait until the Senate returns for final confirmation include Michael Mundaca for assistant secretary for tax policy; Mary John Miller for assistant secretary for financialmarkets; and Charles Collyns for deputy under secretary for international finance.

Sen. Charles Grassley (R., Iowa), had threatened to block those nominees because of a dispute with the Internal Revenue Service over small business tax penalties, but he lifted that objection Wednesday evening.

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