Thursday, 29 March 2007

Is this true?

I'd read that one of Arlen Specter's staffers had inserted the clause giving the White House the ability to appoint US Attorneys without Senate approval, but I have never seen before the assertion that it was done without Specter's approval.

This is one of the most unbelievable statements I have read recently. A clause can be added to a bill by a staffer and the Senate will vote on it without ever knowing it is there.

One night, before passage of the bill, Tolman surreptitiously inserted a paragraph into the legislation that basically removed Senate oversight and approval of replacements for U.S. Attorneys. Tolman didn't ask Specter and didn't tell Specter or, as far as we know, any other senators. He just snuck it into the bill and none of them knew they were voting for that provision. Is that embarrassing, or what? I think so. And I think it plays a role in why the senators have been pretty mum on this episode. And what made it worse is that the Senate unanimously approved Bush's nomination of Tolman, soon after… as U.S. Attorney for Utah!


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