Harper Nomination Again Clears Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyoming), vice-chair of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, voted against the nomination, with his spokeswoman saying he has learned nothing new about Harper’s record that would allow him to vote in favor of his nomination. Barrasso has said that concerns from individual Indians who were affected by the Cobell legal team have played a role in his decision.
Democrats on the committee all supported Harper, as they did during a previous hearing on December 18, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) at that time did not allow the full Senate to vote on the nomination before time ran out due to the end-of-year holiday recess.
President Barack Obama chose to re-submit Harper’s nomination again in early January, even though some Indian country observers had speculated he might choose a safer candidate, given the Republican opposition to Harper.
Reid’s staff currently has no firm timeline for when the full Senate will take up Harper’s latest nomination, as they say there is already a long list of presidential nominees that need to be confirmed.
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