May 12th, 2009
10:51 PM ET
14 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: Extra • President Obama • Republican
soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. Enid

    I think it is so amazing how bad Pres Obama wants to prove to the world that Pres Bush was wrong by raking up some of the rough decisions Bush made, and yet, when you try to find out about Obama’s past choices – it has very conveniently disappeared off the web.
    Because I was observing that Obama was being groomed to be our next president, I was following the legitimate newspapers articles written about Obama for a few years. But then, some time befor he became president, a lot of the things I had been reading on the web about him in the Chicago papers disappeared off the web (especially those articles that showed he was not so nice) . Transparency? – More like invisibility…

    An X Chicagoan

    May 13, 2009 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  2. Tony

    We definitely need to do something about our Reps in Washington. All we here is idiotic rhetoric. Turning down a nomination of an appointee for a reason, that is basically, revenge. Is ludicrous. Maybe we should vote every incumbent out at next elections. That would wake someone up. What a bunch of kids.

    May 13, 2009 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  3. Glen in Los Angeles

    Mr. Frankin, would you PLEASE get your backside into the senate? I'm looking forward to getting some innovative legislation passed while there's still time.

    May 13, 2009 01:32 am at 1:32 am |
  4. penny lane

    how order the oppostion to feel relevant or political, they vote no.

    May 13, 2009 02:03 am at 2:03 am |
  5. jonny

    Disgusting. All the republicans do is play games and try to hinder the current elected government. They lost. Get over it and do what you can to help the country move forward. The GOP is hurting themselves and the country. Their actions arent going to make anyone want to vote for them.

    May 13, 2009 02:11 am at 2:11 am |
  6. Kathy

    The nomination of Hayes should only be about Hayes. This shows Republicans can only play political games. When will the Republicans get a grip – the MN race is OVER, your guy lost. Hello!

    May 13, 2009 03:01 am at 3:01 am |
  7. Betty Merry

    It's about time someone spoke out about the radical Obama administration!

    May 13, 2009 03:05 am at 3:05 am |
  8. Wolves 4 Palin Charlotte, NC

    This is an absolute travesty to democracy; I don't care what party it is. This is outrageous!

    May 13, 2009 03:24 am at 3:24 am |
  9. Sherry

    It clearly shows that to the Republicans this is all just a game and the best interests of the United States and its people do not matter. If it is true that they would block a qualified candidate, just to make a point, because they did not like one of President Obama's policies, then I think they should be ashamed. I find it truly amazing that after 8 yrs, Dick Cheney AND the Republicans on Capitol Hill, have suddenly found their voices. Too bad that everything they say and do is vile and totally counter productive!

    May 13, 2009 03:26 am at 3:26 am |
  10. James G. in California

    Why doesn't Obama pull a Bush tactic and stunt and wait for Congress to go on recess and appoint David Hayes as Deputy Secretary of Interior. While Congress is out on Memorial Day break or summer recess or when ever their next break is that congress takes.

    What comes around, goes around, what is fair play for one is fair play for another. In other words, "what is good for the goose is fair for the gander or something like.

    That will fix their wagon, and fry their goose all at the same time with the “party of no”.

    The Wizard of OZ Rush, the leader of the GOP will have a field day on that one if it ever happened. Along with his side kick Cheney.

    Now that would be fun to watch and listen to, as the extreme right goes berserk. LOL!

    May 13, 2009 03:31 am at 3:31 am |
  11. tony

    i dont understand why they didnt give the cnn guy all that info cause now their gonna help block him from being able to be nominated for that spot. i think that its a good idea ecxept he should havd presented some information to them about the whole not at all for canceling theoil and gas leases. i think its good that the white house is over seeing the big picture of wats up

    May 13, 2009 04:24 am at 4:24 am |
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