Senate Republican leaders addressed Tom Daschle’s stepping down as HHS secretary-nominee, with Sen. John Ensign saying Daschle’s nomination had “serious problems.”
Ensign, R-Nev., also decried Daschle’s health-care policy work with Alston & Bird, a Washington, D.C.-based law and lobbying firm. Previously, President Barack Obama pledged that lobbyists would not be allowed to have roles in the administration related to areas where they had lobbied.
I don’t know how you can get paid $2 million by a lobbying firm and not call yourself a lobbyist.”
Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., appeared annoyed by reporters’ repeated inquiries about Daschle, trying to bring attention back to the stimulus bill under consideration on the Senate floor right now. The Senate will vote on amendments for the stimulus bill today and tomorrow.
We have amendments which deal with the real problem — not who’s going to be the president’s staff — (and those) are what we’re going to be dealing with this week.”