Republican senators had warned the administration against rushing through the lame-duck session the nominations for attorney general and secretary of defense, but now that a new Congress has been sworn in, they indicated that both are likely to win approval, according to The Wall Street Journal
"I think she’s a qualified person. She’s going to have to handle herself well, but I think she was a solid pick," South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said of Loretta Lynch, Obama's pick to succeed Eric Holder at the Justice Department.
An aide to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley confirmed to Politico
that the panel will hold hearings on Lynch in late January or early February.
Lynch has passed through the Senate nomination twice, when she was tapped to be the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and is expected to only limited opposition, The Journal reports.
One of the senators who has voiced concern about Lynch is Louisiana Republican David Vitter
, who met with Lynch on Wednesday to discuss issues related to immigration.
"President Obama’s illegal executive action to grant amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants is still a major concern. It doesn’t just tell illegal aliens that they won’t be deported — it actually grants them work permits contrary to statutory law. This amounts to the President legislating," said Vitter in a press release.
"I didn’t get any straight answers during our meeting today, and I’m not convinced Ms. Lynch will put any stop to it," he added.
The hearing for Obama's nominee to replace Chuck Hagel at the Defense Department has been delayed until early February as Ashton Carter recovers from back surgery.
While Carter's selection is unlikely to elicit strong opposition, the hearings will serve as an opportunity for GOP senators to air their concerns and criticisms of the administration's handling of foreign policy, reports Roll Call
When Carter was nominated incoming Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain
expressed support for him, but added that he was looking forward to having the opportunity "to fully ventilate all of issues around this Administration's feckless foreign policy, and its grave consequences for the safety and security of our nation."
After several ambassadorial picks were shown to have never visited the nations to which they were being appointed or knew little about the country, upcoming nominees could face more opposition in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, reports The New York Times
One nominee who already is facing opposition is investment banker Antonio Weiss, Obama's pick for undersecretary of Treasury for domestic finance.
Liberal Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts is leading the charge against Weiss and has been joined by other Senate Democrats, including Dick Durbin of Illinois and New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen.
Noting that he has spent much of his 20-year career working on international mergers and acquisitions, Warren has concerns about his ability to oversee domestic finance at Treasury.
"Neither his background nor his professional experience makes him qualified to oversee consumer protection and domestic regulatory functions at the Treasury," wrote Warren in a November Huffington Post op-ed
She expressed objection to Weiss because he reflects a "larger, more general issue of Wall Street executives dominating the Obama administration, as well as the Democratic Party's, overall economic policymaking apparatus."
Weiss, as well as other nominees for financial positions, could be in jeopardy as Warren wages a war from the Left.
"This is a proxy war about something bigger, which is Wall Street influence. She has voted for a lot of people from Wall Street (including Treasury Secretary Jack Lew). It’s not a litmus test; it’s more like a balance issue. You put it all together and it’s just too much," a Warren aide tells The Daily Beast
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