Senate committee approves Holder for US attorney general

January 29th, 2009 - 5:11 am ICT by IANS  

Barack ObamaWashington, Jan 29 (DPA) A Senate committee voted Wednesday to approve Eric Holder as the next top US law enforcement officer, sending the nomination to the full chamber for a final vote.The Senate is expected to approve Holder, 58, to become the first African American to head the Justice Department. The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 17-2 to back the nominee, a committee spokesman said.

Republican senators John Cornyn of Texas and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma cast the two votes against him. Republicans had previously delayed a vote on Holder, wanting more information on how he would manage President Barack Obama’s plans to close the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba detention centre for suspects in the war on terrorism.

In one of his first acts as president, Obama signed orders last Thursday to shut down the notorious facility.

Holder served in the Clinton administration as deputy attorney general and faced questions during his confirmation hearings this month over his role in the controversial pardon of fugitive financier Marc Rich in the final says of the Clinton presidency.

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