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. tom

    These hypocritical liberal apologists are amazing.

    February 2, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  2. Lombardi Graham

    Soldier 4 O'bama and anybody else if was you oweing that type of money and as long as you got away without paying until you find out you are up for a job now you wont to pay your taxes to get that job. But before that you had know plans to pay that much money back. Even if it's 2,000 dollars. Until the IRS come calling you know that not an honest mistake that's hope I don't get caught mistake. So don't be so naive any of you on this blog P.S GET AT ME WHEN YOU START TALKING SOME SENSE.

    February 2, 2009 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  3. usualone

    The Republicans will never stop playing party politics. It isn't a game anymore when the country is in such a mess. No one is perfect, and we wouldn't have such debts and war problems if they hadn't been in office for 8 years. We need to solve problems, not put up roadblocks.

    February 2, 2009 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  4. Cynthia - Arkansas

    You have to be freaking kidding me! The Republicans have the nerve to udder the work vetting. Case in point..Sarah Palin for one. Oh, and ALL of the Bush administration.

    February 2, 2009 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  5. Franky

    Are you serious?? I mean, I think you're more serious than you'
    ve been these last 8 years...

    Guys...you try too hard, and if you ain't happy with the vetting process and are questioning, what are you gonna do, huh? Just send out Gov Palin and she'll attract more attention to your party than Senator McCain has in his whole life. That woman has more bait in her than President Bush had during the election...

    You try too hard...

    February 2, 2009 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  6. Proud American

    Republicans : "blah, blah, blah". Enuough of the jibber jabber. You guys had 8 years and got us nowhere. Enough of your worthless whining.

    February 2, 2009 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  7. David M

    Some of you need to settle down a bit. I see a lot of animosity in these blogs. We have a two party system for a reason. Our founding fathers had the wisdom to realize that one party would become corrupt. It's supposed to be a check and balance system and it for the most part works. We need to quit acting as though we are in a war and the winner annihilates the opponents. Let's look at the issues and vote according to our concience and our convictions. It's not a hollywood popularity contest.

    February 2, 2009 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  8. mark in NY

    I hate those cheap bastards. they do not care about people.

    February 2, 2009 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  9. NC

    Liberals..........Do as i say, NOT as i do..................why are so many of obamas picks being caught with their pants down

    February 2, 2009 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  10. The Truth

    Not paying taxes is no longer a crime but a "regrettable mistake". Excellent! Now that is change that I can believe in!

    February 2, 2009 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  11. Peter (CA)

    I am a little concerned that things have come up over several nominees but for the Republicans to try and make hay out of this is laughable.

    No Incumbents--and that would be what exactly?
    I think liberals are more than happy to do at least as much patriotic duty as any one on the other side. So, what is "patriotic duty"?

    February 2, 2009 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  12. Albo58

    Even the blind libs have to admit that except for the Secretary of Defense, Mr. Gates, every cabinet post nominee of President Obama's has had serious ethical and/or legal issues without the press really digging into their closets. Unfortunately for the country, it seems President Obama is following the lead of former President Carter by surrounding himself with folk that are not above rapproach. Here's some free advice, if you ever get the hardest job in the world and you get to choose your staff, always, ALWAY surround yourself with the most honest and competent people you can find. This will make it much easier for you to govern!

    February 2, 2009 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  13. Ken from missouri

    Between cnn ,fox ,and the republicans president obama is so bad at everything he does including understanding that everyone is not perfect senator daschle paid the taxes so let's go on there are billions of people who owe taxes in this country I guess they are bad too, guys give pres obama a chance he has only been in office 15 days.

    February 2, 2009 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  14. Flo

    Logic dictates that if an individual did not report the income how in the world would the people vetting him know there was a discrepancy in his taxes? Why didn't the IRS pick up on that, maybe the IRS is not doing their job? It is important that people think before they speak or be prepared to look like a fool? I do not excuse Daschel but I'm willing to give him the benefit of doubt.

    February 2, 2009 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  15. Larry

    It's not our imaginations,the president has surrounded himself with people that have made many dishonest "mistakes"and it is excused away like it's not a big deal.Well I for one think it is a big deal to have people in high office that have shown that they are less than honest.

    February 2, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  16. Terry

    Dorothy…Click your heels together twice and say "there's no place like Illinois…there's no place like Illinois"

    I'm sure they were the ooooonly ones in the wwwwwwworld who were qualified for the jobs.

    So Daschle is a tax evader with a wife who is a lobbyist…he should sail thru the confirmation. We now have another tax evader, one who had an illegal worker, the largest conflict of interest nominee ever, attorney general Holder with shady dealings in defending terrorist & a pardoner of crooks and ....lobbyists all over the place even after the Executive Order of no lobbyists. I think that Executive Order lasted one day.

    What does it take to be a disqualified nominee?

    That's why I am an Independent I can complain about sides...and I am much to wise to hero worship a politician.

    February 2, 2009 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  17. Xena


    February 2, 2009 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  18. Bill

    Now if John McCain had one how may of his chooes had not paid their taxes would the Dems support. Also how does it look if the Senate keeps approving people who did not pay thier taxes.

    Look I am a Dem and happy that President Obama won. We do not need another four years are 1 day of another Republican in the White House.

    February 2, 2009 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  19. lucy

    would that be sour grapes, maybe? compared to the disasters in the Bush administration?

    February 2, 2009 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  20. There is no excuse

    Chelle, Palin had far more executive experience than this empty, empty, empty vessel and sorry for you Obambi sheep, the truty hurts doesn't it?

    She actually has run a business, a city and a state, all the "chosen one" has done is "run" his mouth.

    I pay taxes, unlike his picks and that doesn't tick you people off?

    Never mind, I know bahhhh, bahhhhh, the answer.


    February 2, 2009 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  21. Evan

    Now I know why Democrats want to raise taxes even when they are wealthy – Answer: They Don't Pay Them! At least with President Obama, he has nominated 2 who had to pay their taxes to get their govt. jobs. If he just nominates a few more, we might not have a deficit with all the Democrats paying their taxes. Don't need a tax cut for the rich – just don't pay them.

    February 2, 2009 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  22. Jenny

    Sorry, but the vetting process can't get any better under this new administration because it is all newbies running the show, except for Hillary. They must make some mistakes...over and over and over (Geithner, Daschle...) again, obviously.

    February 2, 2009 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  23. lucy

    let me see, a guy who got a bad 1099 and caught it and paid his taxes – or a guy who makes friends in restrooms or one who runs for senator from Alaska after cheating the government, doesn't even admit his error....

    February 2, 2009 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  24. albert

    let me see, a guy who got a bad 1099 and caught it and paid his taxes – or a guy who makes friends in restrooms or one who runs for senator from Alaska after cheating the government, doesn't even admit his error....

    February 2, 2009 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  25. Danny, OH

    Ask McCain how he vetted Sarah. Compare Obama's 2 weeks with Bush's 8 years.

    February 2, 2009 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
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