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

Grassley takes aim at Obama vetting process

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/02/art.getty.grassley.jpg caption="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. chelle

    You mean like a vetting process like the GOP have for who is qualified to run for VP????

    February 2, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  2. Kim, Charlotte, NC

    Oh shutup!

    February 2, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  3. Soldier 4 OBAMA

    Come on, what OBAMA is doing is calling out Republicans. People do make honest mistakes and that is American, we pay the fine, move on and live right. The GOP acts holier than thou and always end up breaking the law. What Bush did in 8 years is hold on a pedastle and now they are trying to go after Obama by using Daschle and the economy recovery plan to play politics. Maybe the GOP will get the message when OBAMA unleash his millions of supporters. THE GOP NOW is ANTI AMERICAN, even PALIN supports the Recovery plan, but that is also because she want to spend $2 billion to build the road to nowehere!

    February 2, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  4. FreeNLovIt

    Hey, at least they paid for their wrongdoings. Did the ELEPHANTS and W pay for their wrongdoings of leaving 5 trillion dollars in debt to the next generations?

    February 2, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  5. kayla


    February 2, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  6. malclave

    I think President Obama's cabinet selection is brilliant. How many thousands of dollars in back taxes have been paid already?

    Just go down the list of registered Democrats, nominating each in turn for a cabinet position. As they each pay their taxes, the deficit will disappear, and then a signficant chunk of the national debt.

    Democrats paying their fair share of the taxes they want to increase... Change you can believe in!

    February 2, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  7. Allen in Hartwell GA

    Since the Republicans are so "hot" for tax cuts why don't they just consider not paying taxes a form of a tax cut?
    Having said that, I'm amazed at the number of prospective appointees that have uncalled for problems. I know this won't affect President Obama's ability to work on the country's problems, but it detracts from the administration that everyone (except Rush and party) is looking to to fix the problems.

    February 2, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  8. James L

    Right....................how bout you truly could "care less" ............ it's a HATE thing for republicans. Perhaps he felt the same way about McCain's process or LACK thereof.

    February 2, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  9. Tim, Seattle

    Bitter, out of work republicans looking for a street fight over anything to get some attention. Meanwhile the country loses work and starves

    You lost, GOP. Get over it and play ball

    February 2, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  10. ruty

    The Republicans didn't have a problem with Palin's vetting.So what is the big deal about about vetting now? Get a hobby and shut up.

    February 2, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  11. Lexie

    The Republicasn are taking aim at everything, so what's new?!?

    February 2, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  12. California Gold

    He is right to be concerned how this administration's vetting process looks to anyone. It's outrageous that anyone can claim "a mistake" for refusing to report thousands of dollars of income. The only reason they corrected their fraud was because of the confirmation process. Vetting ignored this. 'Oh it was an oversight, a boo-boo, unintentional, a mistake' is only lip service to their personal inability and utter failure to file honest returns. Daschle is fresh from representing the insurance industry and now to lead Obama's health care reform? Yea right.

    February 2, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  13. No Incumbents 2010

    Are there any Liberals who perform their "Patriotic Duty" ?

    February 2, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  14. Veterans for Obama

    How soon they forget? It hasn't been a month yet, and Republicans are claiming to be experts on the 'vetting process'! LOL!

    It's going to take more than a couple weeks, to forget the last 8 years of corruption and unethical behavior left over by the GOP.

    February 2, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  15. Foreign observer

    In every room there might be a little fly at the wall. You hardly will catch them all.

    February 2, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  16. gerryluimes

    No doubt,there is something fishy about a person "forgetting" to pay taxes.There always is a personal,selfish reason for it. It does not mean that-after having been caught- anybody has the god given right to perpetually keep mistrusting those persons.
    Magnanimity is a noble characteristic.......................

    February 2, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  17. paul c in san diego

    LOL California Gold, yes keep digging for gold if you know what I mean. That has to be one of the most blatant examples of a sore loser I have ever seen. Rather than making a legitimate point for a credible debate you just spew laughable and nonsensical rhetoric. This is a minor snafu and if everyone in this country was audited by the IRS, I doubt you'd see righties like that moron CG running into the caves in which they live in.

    February 2, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  18. Angie in Pa


    February 2, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  19. California Gold

    Veterans for Obama, it is because of the last 8 years of corruption and unethical behavior that I, a veteran and a Democrat and a taxpayer who reports all her earnings, bristle at the Tom Daschles the Obama administration has allegedly vetted. I dared to believe we might actually weed out the corruption, the unethical behavior, the lies and big blind spots inside the beltway. Is it too much to ask for honesty and personal integrity in these appointees?

    February 2, 2009 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  20. Larry Robinson

    The nomination of Tom Daschle for HHS Secretary (when he failed to pay some taxes) doesn't concern me nearly as much as the nomination (who was confirmed by the Senate) of Timothy Geithner for Treasury Secretary (when he failed to pay some taxes), primarily because Daschle's cabinet position in the Obama administration would not involve oversight or management of the IRS and/or the economic oversight or guidance of the nation. Geithner's cabinet position in the Obama administration would have direct management for the IRS (the tax laws he claims to not understand which led to his tax dilema) as well as the banking industry which made risky/unsecured loans or mortgage loans on poor credit that are the root of our current economic crisis. Geithner was President of the Federal Reserve Bank and it was the banking industry's failure that made those loans. I fail to see why he was nominated, and even worse, how come he was confirmed by the Senate.

    February 2, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  21. stu perlmutter

    I can understand Daschle not paying taxes for something like
    car service and a driver. It is something that one does not get
    a W-2 for. It would take an astute tax professional to ask the right
    questions to find out that someone provided car service for Senator
    Daschle and that it should have been treated as income

    February 2, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  22. Iowan

    As an Iowan let me just saw we are used to Chuck opening his big yap and not making any sense. Hopefully the DNC will finally put some funds towards a decent candidate to defeat him or whoever he plans to replace him since he is older than the hill he just went over.

    February 2, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  23. tk1

    dont you people have better things to discuss? like Obamas blackberry? surely you cant be smart enough to know that if you didnt pay 120,000 in taxes you'd be in JAIL. another smart choice from the almighty.......

    February 2, 2009 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  24. McBride, SLC, UT

    Can you say "Sore LOOSER"

    February 2, 2009 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  25. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    If you read any of these comments, republicans would realize the perception out there which is to stop whining in trying to win any points at this stage since there is a real and deep mental fatigue from the populations...and we all know what perception means in politics...reality check!

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