February 2nd, 2009
04:49 PM ET
4 years ago

Grassley takes aim at Obama vetting process

The Senate Finance Committee's top Republican, Sen. Chuck Grassley, said he had concerns about the Obama administration's vetting process.
The Senate Finance Committee's top Republican, Sen. Chuck Grassley, said he had concerns about the Obama administration's vetting process.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Immediately before the Senate Finance Committee began its closed-door meeting to consider former Sen. Tom Daschle’s failure to pay certain taxes, the panel's top Republican said he had concerns about the Obama administration's vetting process.

“I have a high level of concern about how it looks to the public,” Sen. Chuck Grassley said of Daschle's situation. “I don’t have a level of concern about how it affects his ability to be HHS Secretary.”

He said he’s most concerned about the vetting process, even making a sarcastic comment about President Obama otherwise being a “genius.”

“What bothers me is a President who wanted to get his administration off and running even before he’s sworn in. What’s wrong with the vetting process? It shows a little bit of shortcoming for someone who otherwise is a genius, you know, about management capability.”

Members of the Finance Committee are meeting at this hour to review the matter. Grassley says that right now only he and Chairman Max Baucus have read the full report detailing the tax problems stalling Daschle’s nomination.

At the meeting, which is closed, the other 21 members of the committee will review and discuss the report.

Daschle will wait in a separate room and will be available to come in if members have questions, and he may be offered an opportunity to address the committee, should he choose to.

Grassley, who says he won’t decide whether to support Daschle until after the committee holds formal confirmation hearings, said he expects those hearings to begin February 10.


Filed under: Charles Grassley • Tom Daschle
soundoff (104 Responses)
  1. Larry Robinson

    Hey, FreeNLovelt......the 5 trillion dollar debt left by W was after 8 years in office. O hasn't been in office a month yet and he's pushing his first trillion dollars of debt. If he gets 8 years, I wonder what that debt will be to the next generations!

    February 2, 2009 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  2. HopeWon2008

    I don't like the fact that so many people are having tax issues and not just this year. I believe the rich find nice little loopholes that ordinary Americans can't. I trust that President Obama knows what he's doing and will surround himself with the best talent available. Like it or not, voted for him or not, he's our President and i'm behind him 100%.

    February 2, 2009 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  3. beckyinOhio

    Maybe the Senate Finance comm. should find out why we have wasted $40 million on a jail in Iraq!

    February 2, 2009 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  4. E

    are you friggin kidding me? The party who let any schmo in under Bush and made excuses for every single pathetic failure now says it is the Dems who don't look into background enough? Have you ever heard of Sarah "I can see Russia from my house" Palin?

    February 2, 2009 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  5. Coby

    This is so pathetic. Every time there is some criticism of Obama, or someone that Obama nominates, we get the same responses on these comment boards (i.e., "SHUT UP!" or "BUSH WAS WORSE!")

    A) We're not talking about Bush anymore. Obama is president now. He must answer for his own decisions.

    B) It is my constitutional right to challenge the president. This one has nominated a cabinet full of tax evaders, people who have worked on pardons for tax evaders and drug dealers, and lobbyists.

    Now that I've also heard that Obama cranks up the heat in the Oval Office to ridiculous levels, I am starting to think that this guy is the biggest hypocrite in America.

    February 2, 2009 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  6. aware

    Obama's genius is demonstrated only in political expediency and saying one thing but doing another.

    So far he is a spinless left-wing pander-puss! :(

    February 2, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  7. Maggie SC

    I do not like Daschle's situation and feel he should be held very accountable and pay interest and penalities like all the rest of us. If he canot manage his own affairs how can he manage ours.

    February 2, 2009 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  8. Jeanne

    Oh, and how did the vetting of Sarah Palin turn out?????

    February 2, 2009 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  9. aware

    By the way agitated Obama fans – I'm an Independent! :)

    Obama has no back-bone, no moral center, no ethical core and no integrity! He has the questionable gifts of political expediency and of saying one thing while doing another. Symbolic gestures don't cut it!

    The growing public cynicism is not in his favor! :(

    February 2, 2009 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  10. Prof. X

    Well, should we be surprised? The CIC isn't qualified, so why would he pick anyone that is?

    February 2, 2009 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  11. aware

    Kayla: Obama is worse than Bush! :)

    February 2, 2009 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  12. Moe, NY

    I just wish the Republicans would get down to business and stop being obstructionists....this is getting very old. I have to say it, can't help myself....what in the world do Republicans know about vetting after unleashing Palin on America? Sometimes you just have to laugh!

    February 2, 2009 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  13. Brenda

    I really wonder if it is Mccain that won or Palin for that matter if they could have invited Obama or even speak to him.....How sad these people are!

    February 2, 2009 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  14. Prof. X

    Following his election defeat, Daschle took a position with the lobbying arm of the K Street law firm Alston & Bird. Because he was prohibited by law from lobbying for one year after leaving the Senate,[24] he instead worked as a "special policy adviser" for the firm.[25][26]

    Blah Blah Blah CHANGE Blah Blah Blah NO LOBBYISTS IN MY CABINET Blah Blah Blah

    How long will it take to see that they all walk on two legs instead of four?

    February 2, 2009 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  15. California Gold

    Paul C in San Diego, how pathetic you think tax fraud is ok. The sky is the limit until you get caught. You must be related to Rod Blagojevich. Thought so with your 60's San Diego hairdo of yours.

    February 2, 2009 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  16. J.S.

    Their vetting process leaves a lot to be desired..What is this teaching the future leaders of the United States–our young people? Disobey the tax laws of the land and become a government official?? real Ethnical

    February 2, 2009 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  17. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    Vetting is obviously a word that Republicans don't understand based on the bozos they surrounded themselves with this past eight years. They have no business running down anyone else regarding a vetting process. Get real.

    February 2, 2009 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  18. Steph

    GOP's vetting process...Brownie, you're doin' a heck of a job!

    February 2, 2009 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  19. Rob Stumpf

    How dare anyone criticize the Community Organizer?

    February 2, 2009 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  20. This is CHANGE

    Tommy needs to just fade into the sinset...I mean sunset. The honest mistakes are going over the top...

    February 2, 2009 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  21. Lisa Vilen

    HA-HA-HA! How funny. Nothing in a hundred years will ever compare to the crappy vetting the Republicans did with Palin (and TBD with Mr. "Bipartisanship is Overrated" Steele). How ridiculous.

    February 2, 2009 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  22. change?

    What change is Obama-jama bringing? Hiring twice as many crooks as the Republicans? How many folks is he going to nominate who hasn't paid their taxes, under investigation, etc. Yep, there is some real change going on here. NOT!!! And the pork-laden stimulus bill? Just what we need to get Americans back to work, $150 M honeybee insurance and $400 M for aids prevention. Idiots all! It is time for one-term limits (house, senate and executive office)!!!!1

    February 2, 2009 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  23. fearful for my country

    We all knew Obama's friends were crooks. You elected him anyway. Now that he has to repay his friends for helping him get elected...what are you complaining about? Surely you knew this was coming.

    February 2, 2009 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  24. Mike,Texas

    Boo Hoo

    February 2, 2009 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  25. Cindy

    Whaaa?!? You mean, Obama is not perfect?!?!

    Gee gads, I'd hate to think what he would've said about McCain's vetting process, had McCain won instead... starting with the vetting of his running mate...

    February 2, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
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