Kyl Appears to Hint at Tauscher Nomination Hold

Kyl Appears to Hint at Tauscher Nomination Hold

The White House should expect that Rep. Ellen Tauscher’s nomination to be undersecretary of State for arms control and international security will face rough waters in the Senate.

At a breakfast speech today, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) made a point of quoting some of Tauscher’s recent statements on missile defense and he made clear he did not like the idea of her taking the State Department position. Tauscher has made it very clear she is skeptical of the Groundbased Midcourse anti-missile system and wants to see much more system testing done. Kyl is one of the system’s biggest boosters on the Hill.

During his speech this morning, Kyl noted wryly that Tauscher’s ostensible new job requires Senate confirmation, a clear signal that he may place a hold on Tauscher’s nomination. A congressional aide confirmed that Kyl is expected to place a hold on Tauscher’s nomination once it is formally made by the White House.


Kyl reflects conservative GOP opposition to Tauscher’s views, and, generally, those of the Obama administration when it comes to missile defense. He called the administration’s missile defense proposals, as outlined by Defense Secretary Robert Gates in his recent budget speech, “inexplicable as a matter of policy and dangerous.” While Kyl did not oppose the migration of budgetary funds to tactical systems such as THAAD and Aegis, he opposed cuts to GMD and the boost-phase systems. Instead, he argued that missile defense cuts should not be made in light of the “frivolous and wasteful spending” contained in the Obama administration’s economic stimulation bills.

Tauscher, chairman of the House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee, is a tough, frankly spoken member some might cast as a Democratic version of John Bolton, the republican who was either notorious or beloved, depending on your politics. Bolton had very strong views about arms control, as Tauscher has strong views on missile defense. While Bolton was the right of the right wing, Tauscher is much closer to the right of the left. She is often identified as a Blue Dog Democrat, although she’s not one today. Instead, she leads the New Democrat Caucus, which shares much of the Blue Dog approach to life but is less fiscally conservative.

Tauscher must have a pretty good idea just how much opposition she is likely to attract from Kyl and other conservative Republicans. When she announced she would take the arms control job in mid-March she said she faced a confirmation process that “is fraught with uncertainty and can take weeks, if not months.”

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From all I have read, Tauscher has one mission when it comes to the military: repeal of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. If she thinks that is the #1 issue for the military, I cannot fathom how anyone can call her a centrist.

She is not a Blue Dog by any stretch of the imagination.

It is odd that Defense it taking such big cuts when we are blindly handing out billions to left-wing “community groups” with no paper trail.

Well, clearly yet another example of how Republicans in the Senate don’t give a damn about this nation. Funny how just four years ago they insisted that any President had the right to any and all advisors they wanted to appoint to the various departments. Now, not so much. I guess they just felt that way when they wanted to support a Pretender rather than a President.

Right on Karen! Blue dog my butt. She is against any strategic modernization and always want to study the issue despite miles of paper already. RRW, nope, Prompt Global Strike, nope, MMII replacement, nope Advanced nuclear weapon concept studies, nope.

hey, what does SHE know about missiles, anyway? only what her FEMALE staff has told her!

Well dang! It looks like Kyl has a posse too!

It’s a bit naieve to think Tauscher sets the agenda for Obama/Clinton/Gates. But the Republican’s seem to relish the monkeywrench role as a response to losing control. Yes, funny how things look different when they are on the other foot. When do the Republicans quit being the loyal opposition and become the disloyal opposition?

Bush got 6 months or a year into his presidency while Obama felt pressure soon after he won. I guess in the long run this will help pick up more Democratic congrssional seats in the next election. So, bring it on.

@do the right thing — Why do you leftists never make any sense when you post. I don’t know why you come on these sites. “Bush got six months.….Obama felt pressure soon after he won”, what??????

First, who said Tauscher “set the agenda”? Do you know how the federal government works, the Constitution, separation of powers or the role of committee chairmen?

She is now changing jobs. It is a position that requires Senate confirmation, are Senators ALLOWED to ask questions? Is it possible some Senators believe her views are “misguided” or “wrong”? She has votes and policy positions that can affect national security. Heaven forbid we ask her about them.

Have you heard of reductio ad absurdum? If Obama nominates a person who wants to dismantle the entire military is anyone allowed to ask questions or oppose the nomination?

If Obama nominates a person who wants to dismantle the entire military is anyone allowed to ask questions or oppose the nomination?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
You tell me since you seem to be the self professed expert on how the federal government works.

And come back with a better argument than “Obama is going to nominate someone who wants to dismantle the entire military.”

Don’t be stupid. Who would fly and maintain his helicopter if he did that??

Wow -

*** PrahaPartizan April 22nd, 2009 at 1:42 pm

Well, clearly yet another example of how Republicans in the Senate don’t give a damn about this nation. Funny how just four years ago they insisted that any President had the right to any and all advisors they wanted to appoint to the various departments. Now, not so much. I guess they just felt that way when they wanted to support a Pretender rather than a President. ***
Well with an avatar like that Crest — “It is obvious YOU do not give a damn about our republic, the USA“
—Democrat or Republican BOTH parties have let us down time and again!

Do the right thing — once again you fail to see the point I am trying to make. The Senate has a Constitutional oversight role in these cases. Again do you understand reductio ad absurdum. Geez how can a person hope to have discussions with you.

My point about nominating an obvious extremist was to highlight that Senate oversight of key cabinet positions is there for a reason. I wasn’t saying Obama would actually nominate a person with those beliefs, think a little bit would you!

I was trying to establish a premise not make an argument.

I can see that you think it is all about political parties. What about the safety of OUR country??? Arms control, what other country is practicing arms control? Short answer NONE.
THINK, about our country and the safety of our citizens. Forget about your political party, push for what is best for America not about your own self interest or your parties self interest.

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