Action on Nominations

Action on Nominations

The Senate Monday overwhelmingly, 78-11, approved a cloture petition to limit debate on the nomination of Joel Klein to become assistant attorney general in charge of the Justice Department's Antitrust Division.

Senate Commerce ranking member Ernest Hollings, D-S.C., and Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., led the fight against Klein, charging that he had failed to impose adequate consumer safeguards on the merger between NYNEX and Bell Atlantic.

On the other side of the debate, Senate Judiciary Chairman Hatch and Sen. Mike DeWine, R-Ohio, pushed hard for approval of the nomination. The Senate is expected to vote on approval for the nomination later this week, with Klein's confirmation all but certain.

Meanwhile, Senate Agriculture Chairman Lugar has scheduled a confirmation hearing for July 23 on the nominations of Catherine Woteki as USDA undersecretary for food safety, and Shirley Watkins as undersecretary for nutrition and consumer services.

A Lugar aide said late last week it is "possible, but not likely" that the hearing would also cover the nominations, announced last week, of Gus Schumacher as undersecretary for farm and foreign agricultural services and I. Miley Gonzalez as undersecretary for research, education and economics.

NEXT STORY: Regulating Regulators