May 13th, 2009
04:50 AM 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: President Obama • Republican
soundoff (85 Responses)
  1. redleg

    Has Senator Bennett considered what example of a senator and a Christian he is setting right about now? As clergy and a former officer he should understand this.

    Is there any reason I should not consider the Republican party as so consumed by spite that country is a distant second for them?

    May 13, 2009 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  2. andy

    so this is what the republicans are talking about when they say 'bipartisanship'?

    May 13, 2009 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  3. Stormer

    Here is another example of how morally and ethically bankrupt the RNC and GOP are. They continue to ignore the needs and best interests of America while they play political games.

    The Republican party is as anti-American as it gets.

    May 13, 2009 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  4. Karen,

    "Not about him or his qualifications"

    These are the types of politics that the american people are sick of!

    Utah's oil and gas leases should be a totally seperate issue. But we all know that, don't we.

    Utah needs to take a look at their representation.

    Karen, Ohio

    May 13, 2009 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  5. Dennis

    The republicans have been whining about bi-partisanship since the election. Unfortunately for this country their idea of bipartisanship is "give us whatever we want or we'll throw a tantrum"! At least a few of these guys should actually look at what those oil and gas leases would have destroyed and rethink their vote based the good of the country not their oil and gas campaign contributions!

    May 13, 2009 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  6. Marie in Texas

    oh wow, now the party of NO is resorting to blackmail ! If Obama wont give them the oil etc, more money for THEM, then they wont give him the people he needs in his cabinet !Phewwwwwwww, Repubs really STINK now !

    May 13, 2009 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  7. U gotta be kidding

    House Democrats on Tuesday stopped a Republican plan to force a campaign finance inquiry that likely would have investigated several influential Democrats. It was the eighth time since late February that the Republican move was halted. Democratic leaders spoke to some of their newer members privately last month, to stop them from voting for the initiative. this isn't news either. they are all hiding something vote them all out lets start over with real average american citzens. people who know what we want not bought and paid for by lobbist.

    May 13, 2009 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  8. donttreadonme

    Good news. It is time someone hold Obama to his campaign promises. So far he has cancelled 77 oil and gas land leases in Utah and has put exploration on the Continental Shelf on hold. This is not what he said during the campaign. Gas prices are creeping back up! It is great to go green but provide another means until we get there. Making the people suffer is not the way. Is Obama that much of a puppet to extreme liberals.???

    May 13, 2009 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  9. Dee, NJ

    Big "O", The nut's will do this for the next 8 yr's, and do nothing!

    May 13, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  10. Kent

    Let 'em filibuster, Harry. Let them shut down the US Senate from conducting business. Then get in front of a news conference every day of the filibuster and tell the press what the Republican Senators have accomplished each day. If they filibuster a qualified nominee over an unrelated policy issue, the public won't stand for it and the GOP will lose still more seats next year. Call their bluff, Harry. Put it to a vote.

    May 13, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
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