May 13th, 2009
04:50 AM ET
9 years ago

Obama Official Expected to be rejected by Senate Wednesday

WASHINGTON (CNN)– The Senate Democratic leadership is preparing to lose a vote Wednesday morning on the confirmation of David Hayes as Deputy Secretary of Interior. If that happens, it would be the first time Congress votes to reject one of President Obama’s nominees.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s spokesman Jim Manley tells CNN that Democrats believe Republicans will vote in lockstep to block Hayes’ nomination, and therefore, it will fail.

Republican objections to Hayes appear to have little to do with him or his qualifications, and more to do with an Obama administration policy.

Specifically, Utah Republican Robert Bennett has been leading his party’s opposition to Hayes because of an Obama decision to cancel oil and gas leases in Utah.

“This is not about Hayes,” Bennett spokeswoman Tara Hendershott tells CNN.

She says Bennett is blocking Hayes because the Department of Interior “has not provided any information he requested regarding the Secretary’s unilateral decision to cancel the oil and gas leases.”

If Republicans do successfully block Hayes’ nomination, it will be the starkest illustration yet of what it means for Democrats to have 59 seats – just one shy of a filibuster proof majority – as the Minnesota Senate race remains unresolved.

“The American people deserve better than political games that do nothing but waste their time. And the President deserves to have a complete lineup when his team takes the field on the most important issues we face,” Manley, Reid’s spokesman, says.

Manley says that if Hayes does in fact fail, as they expect, it is unclear whether the White House will pull his nomination, or try to find a way to revive it.

Filed under: President Obama • Republican
soundoff (85 Responses)
  1. James

    They're going to reap what they sew. 60 won't be long and then they'll really be shut out of the process. They were given so many chances to cooperate work with the OBama administration on compromises, but they chose to be childish and take their ball home. Hopefully, all of AMerica now sees where the real leadership is at and where it's not.

    These oil and gas permits needed to be done away with. People who cry drill baby drill miss the point. We have 3% of the world's oil! We use 25%. This is clear evidence to me that we need to find another fuel source, that isn't oil. Necessity is the mother of all invention and there are plenty of inventions out there that would replace oil.

    May 13, 2009 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  2. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    If there such a thing as an honest politician, Robert Bennett tops the list. His spokes person says "This is not about Hayes". It's all about the current administration decision to cancel oil and gas leases in Utah.

    May 13, 2009 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  3. Linda32

    Are they Repubs thinking????? If they voted against this man, not because of he or his qualification, but because of issues with the administration, what does that say about the GOP? It is appears as if they do not care about the American people. I wish our congress people would start to think about this country instead of a party! Just disgusted.

    May 13, 2009 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  4. Dan in NC

    Why does Obama even have the power to cancel oil and gas leases?

    This country is so screwed up.

    May 13, 2009 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  5. Dirty Little Secret

    GOPers want to claim this Obamas' war, but when GW invaded Iraq, the war became his and will always be George's war, period.

    May 13, 2009 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  6. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    If the Republicans have a problem with this guy, why haven't they stated that outright? What issues are the problem with this nominee? If there is no problem with the nominee, then don't block the nominee. If you have a problem with other people or issues in the department, talk to the person in charge and stop going around on this.

    May 13, 2009 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  7. Kevin in Ohio

    For all you "Party of No" people out there.... this is no different than what the dems have done for years when they were in the minority. It's simply your turn now.

    May 13, 2009 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  8. Pat, Columbus OH

    Typical Republican tactics, the party of No. Get over yourselves! The American voters certainly are.

    May 13, 2009 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  9. wish the repubs were interested in the good of the country

    The republican position is to block anything when they don't get their way. I wish they believed in democracy.

    May 13, 2009 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  10. lucy

    What creeps these losers are. There will be no secretary of the interior because of a policy of the Obama administration that he isn't even there to implement. How silly of them. They are more than willing to stop the government in retaliation for losing, over and over again. The party of NO will diminish into oblivion if they keep this up.

    May 13, 2009 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  11. RobK

    Reid is such a hypocrite. In fact, most politicians are hypocrites. For how many years did the Dems block judicial appointments during the Bush years? They are just political games when the other side is doing it. When you are doing it, it is important strategy. What a load of ...!

    May 13, 2009 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  12. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    GOP politics as usual.... let's stall the country if they can't have their way....

    May 13, 2009 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  13. Sandra

    President Obama,
    Do not give in to the Republicans. Stick to your principles and take this fight to the court of piblic opinion. They are doing this because they believe it will get them their way. DO NOT give in!

    May 13, 2009 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  14. dominican mama 4 Obama

    "“This is not about Hayes,” Bennett spokeswoman Tara Hendershott tells CNN"

    It is exactly this type of negative, non-accomplishing, vindictive tit-for-tat that is destroying the GOP. Who in their right mind would deny someone a position that he is qualified for, and then proudly and PUBLICLY proclaim that his qualifications had nothing to do with rejecting him? Well, we are innundated with sublime examples day in and day out of this type of GOP idiocy. And then they balk at being called the partyof NO?!?

    May 13, 2009 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  15. Melissa

    so....the republicans scream smaller government and that helping those who are less fortunate is socialism and vote no on all of those.....and when Obama does what they want and cuts extra government spending from the bill from "socialist" programs....they kick and scream and want those programs back?

    Just what exactly do the republicans stand for anymore?

    May 13, 2009 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  16. Bubba

    The Minnesota race is not 'unresolved.' The Republicans refuse to admit that Al Franken won months ago.

    May 13, 2009 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  17. Steph

    What! So, the party of NO is going to reject a perfectly qualified person who they themselves have no issue with just to prove a point about oil and gas leases in Utah! We NEED qualified people to serve in our government. I guess the rethuglicans really do want this country to fail, but first they want their oil and gas money!

    May 13, 2009 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  18. Thomas

    This sounds like a private agenda is more important than the needs of the country. How long will the GOP be allowed to strangle this country. They have proven what they are capable of if they do not get their way. How long will it take for the American public to drop this party and contnue without them? How long can this country stand while their actions lead us to ruin?

    May 13, 2009 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  19. brenda

    Of course they will. The party of no again...

    May 13, 2009 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  20. dblzap

    Once again the GOP is opposing something that the majority of americans want.

    Keep up the good work, nhe next election will be a slaughter!

    May 13, 2009 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  21. Marty, FL

    Once again, the Party of NO....

    May 13, 2009 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  22. Kaye -Jacksonville FL

    What a total bunch of boneheads.... "it's not about Hayes" .... it's all about political payback. 2010 can't come fast enough for me – another chance to get these morons out of elected office. The Republicans have stood in the way of too many nominees for no legitimate reason – Vitter placing a hold on FEMA nominee Craig Fugate?? Insane. Opposing Dawn Johnson as pro-choice when her appointed position has very little to do with abortion rights? Delaying appointments to the Treasury Department b/c they're pissed at Obama and Geitner? Morons – complete and utter morons....

    May 13, 2009 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  23. Cheryl

    These are people that are supposed to make decisions for Americans? They are acting like kindergarteners, no, preschoolers who throw a tantrum when they don't get what they want. No wonder they are blocking Minnesota's Senator from taking office. We need alternative energy, not more excuses to depend on oil and gas. An energy crisis has been going on since the 70's, it's time we stop pandering to the oil business and do something about it. Apparently gas prices need to be 5.00 a gallon for Americans to be willing to change their ways.

    May 13, 2009 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  24. ran

    What would you expect from the party of NO. People we need to make sure that by 2010 the Democrats have more then 60 in the senate if anything is going to really get done on the real important issues facing this country. To disagree is healthy but to be an obstructionist is detrimental to us all.

    May 13, 2009 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  25. No Morons with Gas

    So typical, isn't it. Foget a nominee's qualifications, just get even. Hope you like the wilderness elephants because it's going to be a long stay.

    May 13, 2009 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
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