Browsing: Transition

Senate approves dozens of nominees

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Just before leaving for its August recess Friday, the Senate cleared more than six dozen of President Barack Obama’s nominees, including multiple assistant secretaries and ambassadors. But most notable may be the lack of several confirmation votes of particular interest to federal employees. The nomination of Cass Sunstein to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, has been held up for months over concerns over ideas in his academic writings. Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., filed cloture on Sunstein’s nomination, setting up a final vote on confirmation when the Senate returns Sept. 8. The Senate also took no action…

Obama names his pick for surgeon general

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Dr. Regina Benjamin, a family practice doctor who works with the rural poor in Alabama, is President Barack Obama’s choice for surgeon general, Obama said Monday. Obama praised Benjamin’s commitment to health care and to providing access to care for those who can’t afford insurance. She is the founder of the Bayou Le Batre Rural Health Clinic in Bayou La Batre, Ala., a fishing village, and has served as its chief exective officer since is founding in 1990. Benjamin has rebuilt the clinic several times, including after it sustain heavy damages by Hurricane Georges in 1998 and Hurricane Katrina in…

More nominations head to Senate floor

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The Senate could vote this week on more of President Barack Obama’s nominees. The Senate Homeland Security and Government Reform Committee approved two nominations by voice vote Monday: W. Craig Fugate for Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator and John Morton for assistant secretary of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The Senate may vote this week on their nominations, which aren’t controversial. No vote has been scheduled. Meanwhile, senators are debating the nomination of Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius for secretary of Health and Human Services Tuesday, with a vote expected later in the day. The vote on her nomination has been delayed…

WH announces VA nominees

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The White House announced six more political appointees Tuesday, including three for the Veterans Affairs Department. Roger Baker, nominee for assistant secretary for information and technology, Veterans Affairs. Baker is the former president and chief executive office of Dataline, a technology company in Norfolk, Va. He also is a former chief information officer of the Commerce Department and served on President Barack Obama’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications policy group during his 2008 presidential campaign. William Gunn, nominee for general counsel, VA. He represents military members and veterans in his Northern Virginia law practice. He retired in 2005 from the Air…

Deputy EPA administrator nominee is out

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Jon Cannon, President Barack Obama’s nominee for deputy administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, withdrew his name from consideration Wednesday afternoon. And in case you’re wondering, it’s not over unpaid taxes, an issue which has befallen a handful of Obama’s other nominees. Cannon, an environmental law professor at the University of Virginia, said he withdrew because he once served on the board of a nonprofit group currently under investigation. It has come to my attention that America’s Clean Water Foundation, where I once served on the board of directors, has become the subject of scrutiny. While my service on the…

No Sanjay Gupta in Obama administration

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Television personality and neurosurgeon Sanjay Gupta has pulled his name from consideration for surgeon general, according to a statement by CNN. Gupta appears frequently on CNN as a commentator on medical and health issues. CNN U.S. President Jon Klein said Gupta made his decision to spend more time on his medical career and CNN career, according to a statement on CNN’s Web site. Though a distinguished Atlanta neurosurgeon and professor, Gupta is best known to most Americans as a prolific television commentator. However, he served as an adviser to the Clinton White House, helping craft health care speeches and policy…

Specter will support Holder for AG

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Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Sen. Arlen Specter said Tuesday afternoon he’ll vote for attorney general-designate Eric Holder when the committee meets Wednesday to consider his nomination. Specter initially objected to the quick scheduling of Holder’s confirmation just weeks after his appointment by President Barack Obama, saying it did not leave enough time to investigate Holder’s background, including his involvement in the pardon of Marc Rich and his decision not to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate then-Vice President Al Gore’s fund-raising activities for the 1996 presidential campaign. Specter, R-Penn., said Tuesday that Holder has “excellent qualifications” and provided answers…

Ishimaru takes the reins at EEOC

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President Obama has appointed Stuart Ishimaru to be acting chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the commission said today. Ishimaru replaces Naomi Earp as chairman. In the statement announcing the appointment, the EEOC said Ishimaru’s more than five-year tenure has been marked by a focus on “large, systemic cases and in reinvigorating the agency’s work on race discrimination issues. He also played an instrumental role in the EEOC’s adoption of groundbreaking guidance on gender discrimination against workers with caregiving responsibilities.” Ishimaru called the appointment “a high honor and quite humbling:” The Obama administration brings new promise and possibilities to…

Hager out, Whipple in as acting OPM director

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President Obama just named Kathie Ann Whipple to be acting director of the Office of Personnel Management. Whipple, who had been deputy general counsel, will immediately replace Michael Hager, who served as acting OPM director since last August. Whipple thanked Obama for the appointment in a statement issued this morning: I am humbled to have been designated by President Obama to serve as the acting director of OPM, an agency it has been my pleasure to serve for the past eight years. I look forward to leading OPM until the president appoints and the United States Senate confirms the next director.

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