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. billy-bayou


    February 2, 2009 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  2. Steve (the real one)

    Allen in Hartwell GA February 2nd, 2009 5:24 pm ET
    Since the Republicans are so "hot" for tax cuts why don't they just consider not paying taxes a form of a tax cut?
    Uhhhhhhhhhhhhh I dunno! Maybe because not paying taxes is ILLEGAL???

    February 2, 2009 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  3. catmom

    Are Republicans serious? I would bet if you went through the House and Senate you will find both Republicans and Democrats who haven't paid taxes, used illegal immigrants or have some other questionable acts. While not condoning any of this, Republicans are whining like little babies. At least Tom Daschel didn't lie us into a trillion dollar war.

    February 2, 2009 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  4. Barbara Campbell

    The only vetting the Bush administration did was ensuring that appointees would follow in lockstep with Cheney, Rove, and Limbaugh – helping the rich get richer. There were no other qualifications.

    February 2, 2009 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  5. Craig a Texas Democrat

    So i wonder as he voted fro GWB cabinet did he feel this way. REPUBS ARE SAD

    February 2, 2009 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  6. TexasAnnie *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

    Okay, I'm sorry, but the Republicans questioning anybody's vetting process is such a laugh right now....

    Senator, did you not notice the pathetic vetting procedure your own Presidential candidate did with his choice for a running mate??? Probably the main reason the Republicans did so poorly in the November election is directly related to the pitiful vice presidential candidate your party put forth without properly vetting her. So don't try to be holier than thou about the vetting process now.

    And lest you forgot– go back and check out some of the Bush nominees during his "reign". There were a few skeletons in those Republican closets too.

    February 2, 2009 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  7. D.Tin

    Oh please like you had concerns when Bush hired his cronies. Or picking Palin for VP.

    February 2, 2009 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  8. LI Toldyouso

    If Daschle gets confirmed, count me as one less Obama supporter. This type of felonius behavior needs to be legally addressed. Daschle needs to be prosecuted and if found guilty, be fined and sent to jail just as any ordinary citizen would.

    February 2, 2009 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  9. Gerry In Toronto

    He should have questioned the GOP vetting of Palin before he opens his mouth.

    Then the world wouldn't have been subjected to those turkey killing pictures.

    February 2, 2009 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  10. Rick

    Vetting process, whats that???????????, Obama only makes sure that he has the people in place that will lie and cheat the American people and that is what is going on now. Looks like two for tax evation or should I say a mistake. Well if it was any otheraverage American we would be fined and prosecuted, but not our Senators or elected officials, to them its just a mistake..........well to all those who voted for Obama and put his vetting process in place, the illegal deeds are now coming out and we are seeing the true crooks.........DEMOCROOKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 2, 2009 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  11. Scott, Tucson

    This have got to be the looniest administration of cabinet secretaries ever dump on the American people.

    February 2, 2009 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  12. Meka


    February 2, 2009 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  13. Michiganian

    It does look bad until you look at the fine print. Daschle most likely does not do his own taxes...as we have not for a few years. We turn in the documents, go in, sign the return, and write the check. Daschle (or his accountant) found and corrected this mistake well before he was nominated, right? So what exactly is the problem, except that Republicans can't wait to find fault with Dems and Obama. They just salivate for this stupid stuff.
    At least when we were on Bush, we had legitimate Constitutional concerns about his actions. And Palin just needed to be looked at because no one knew who in heck was chosen to be VP and in control. We had a right to ask questions, and we didn't like the answers. Since she gave no early interviews, it was up to citizens to research, and we did. The MEDIA didn't do her in, it was the facts surrounding her tenure as mayor, her actions as governor, and the strange behavior of her household. So sorry that the truth is hurtful. Doesn't make it lies.

    February 2, 2009 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  14. gl, Pittsburgh

    Why is most of the Republicans so old with old ideas and hateful They need young blood and new ideas if they thank they can bring their party back.

    February 2, 2009 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  15. Jeff Brown

    Go back to sleep Charles, there, there, have a nice cup of warm milk...

    February 2, 2009 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  16. German,Irish American

    According to Joe Biden, this makes Lil Tommy Daschle unpatriotic by not wanting to pay taxes, doesn't it blind sheep, tingle up your leg libs? Oh wait, he is not only unpatriotic, according to Biden, he is also guility of TAX FRAUD. But never mind, to be a friend of Obama and get a job in his administration, you need to be a crook. Just wondering, will Obama pardon his cabinet and administration picks before or after they are sent jail? Is this another example of "The Dumb One's" judgement?

    February 2, 2009 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  17. Bob

    Obama a "genius"? Ye gad! Nothing but a self-serving author with HEAVY, HEAVY ties to corrupt Chicago politics!

    February 2, 2009 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  18. Penn Voter

    I understand mistakes. But the amount of taxes that of some these jerks have been evading is more than some families earn in a year. Review behind close doors my #$$. Bring this out in the open so it can be seen by the country. This is not a private matter, this is a national concern.

    February 2, 2009 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  19. jen

    Angie in Pa February 2nd, 2009 6:00 pm ET
    YOU shut up, Angie - Republicans are NOT going down in flames - not NOW - NOT EVER! Get used to it!

    February 2, 2009 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  20. BigDaddyTod

    Alberto Gonzales, John Ashcroft. Dick Cheny. Repubs can not really say much about them however.

    February 2, 2009 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  21. Texas Teacher

    Oh, come now.... surely you don't expect any Republican to say something positive about Obama unless they are having their arm twisted by a compadre or Ruch Limbaugh is not looking! *LOL*

    Rush Limbaugh the head of the Republican Party? Now if that does not tell you something.... nothing will.... *snicker and grin*

    And if Rush Limbaugh is not looking.... they better watch out...because he will look first chance he gets... *LOL*

    I just loved his idea that Dems should give a percentage of all votes to the Repubs.... *sputter and snort* Just like the Repubs did. We all know how they just bent over backwards to be FAIR to the DEMS... 🙂

    February 2, 2009 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  22. malclave

    Wow, you Democrats really are sore winners.

    Not to mention hypocrites.

    February 2, 2009 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  23. SueB

    The issue for me is the double standard. Many a republican has been booted out of office for what could be truly considered honest mistakes. I could believe that the Treasury Sect messed up the 2 years he got caught by the IRS. But he didn't go back and correct the same mistake from years that he didn't get caught by the IRS. That was a deliberate omission and not an honest mistake. I can almost hear him saying whew, they only caught me for 2 of the 4 years. Daschle may have honestly not known about the car and driver, but no one can tell me he didn't know about reporting the real cash income he received. Ted Stevens had a similar issue to the car and driver – some donated services – but he not only got bounced out of the Senate but he got convicted in a court. Daschle will be rewarded by becoming our next Sect of Health and Human Services.

    If it was an occasional double standard it would be one thing, but it's frequent. The guy who innocently stuffed damaging papers from national archives in his socks, no punishment. The missing FBI files that mysteriously showed up in the White House residence quarters, no questions asked how they got there, no punishment. Libby being tried and convicted with jail time and fine for inconsistencies in statements over multiple days of interrogation for a crime that the interrogators knew he didn't commit before they ever spoke to him. There's case after case. All corruption should be investigated and prosecuted equally, doesn't matter what side of the aisle the alleged perpetrator sits, but that has clearly not been the case for many years. The argument that the GOP claims to be morally good people doesn't make crimes committed by them more seriously then the Dems who don't claim to be morally good people. A crime for one is a crime for the other.

    February 2, 2009 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  24. Texas Teacher

    *LOL* Chelle... don't forget how much Bush vetted his horse show guy? His good ole chumbs from the ole college days. It appears that all you have to do is have an IQ of about 50 or appeal to Rush Limbaugh... or better yet... be Bush's housekeeper... that was precious! And then again.... a beauty Queen, an Alaskan Barbie is just wonderful for.... mmmm... any office! *snort and snicker*

    February 2, 2009 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  25. smiff

    Amazing how bad the economy has been for the last eight years!!! Amazing how many times the nummys have attact us in the last eight years!!! Amazing how the world hates us so much they decline our foreign aid for the last eight years. Amazing how many super powers have come into existance in the last eight years. Amazing the new and improved potus couldnt even get by his own vetting process questionare!!! Amazing how people thing change actually means something for them!!! Amazing!!!! Amazing the spew allowed to be cast about people who could care less about glory seeking politicians. Repubs have lost their way! dems are making exceptions for all their ways! Paleeeeze!!! Get a grip and take a course in politics 101!

    February 2, 2009 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
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