The Senate voted 57-40 Thursday to approve the nomination of Cass Sunstein to be administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, ending a months-long debate over Sunstein’s writings as a professor and his ideological views.
At least two senators had placed holds on Sunstein’s nomination, due to concerns about his opinions on gun control and animal rights. Sunstein, a Harvard University professor, met with the senators, Saxby Chambliss of Georgia and John Cornyn of Texas, and assured them he respected the Second Amendment and would not limit hunting or impose stricter gun control. The holds were then lifted.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., filed cloture on Sunstein’s nomination, limiting time for debate. His nomination was discussed Thursday in between tributes to the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass.
Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., praised Sunstein’s selection on the Senate floor before the Wednesday cloture vote. Lieberman chairs the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which cleared Sunstein’s nomination months ago.
I’m convinced that Professor Sunstein has superior qualifications for this office and a strong commitment, if confirmed, to guide OIRA in conformity with the law and public interest above all.”