US Senate confirms six of Obamas Cabinet Secretaries

January 21st, 2009 - 12:43 pm ICT by ANI  

Barack Obama

Washington, Jan.21 (ANI): President Barack Obama has won the full U.S. Senates approval for six of his Cabinet nominees, just hours after he took the oath of office. According to Fox News, the Senate unanimously confirmed the Cabinet members with a single voice vote, though the vote for Secretary of State nominee Hillary Clinton was postponed until Wednesday over the objections of a single senator, Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn.
Cornyn said he still had concerns about foreign donations to the foundation headed by Clinton’’s husband, former President Bill Clinton.
But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid spokesman Jim Manley said Clinton would nevertheless “receive overwhelming bipartisan support.”
Among those confirmed Tuesday were Obama’’s energy secretary Steven Chu, homeland security secretary Janet Napolitano; agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack; education secretary Arne Duncan; interior secretary Ken Salazar; and veterans affairs secretary Eric Shinseki. The Senate also approved Peter Orszag, recently the director of the Congressional Budget Office, to head the White House’’s Office of Management and Budget.
Obama signed nominating papers for his Cabinet choices about an hour after he took the oath.
The Senate traditionally moves quickly to affirm the new president’’s Cabinet.
By comparison, George W. Bush won approval for seven nominees as soon as he took office.
Cornyn’’s spokesman Kevin McLaughlin said the senator is not trying to block Clinton confirmation, but is seeking more debate on the donation issue.
Several Republicans raised questions at Clinton’’s confirmation hearing about possible conflicts of interest from Bill Clinton’’s fundraising work and his acceptance of large donations from foreign countries and companies.
In her testimony, Clinton said the foundation would provide a clearer picture of its annual donations.
Timothy Geithner, Obamas nominee to head the treasury department, faces the Finance Committee Wednesday, where he will have to explain his initial failure to pay payroll taxes he owed while working for the International Monetary Fund.
The Judiciary Committee is expected to vote as early as Wednesday on Eric Holder to be attorney general.
Also still in the confirmation process is former Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle, Obama’’s pick to head health and human services and spearhead his efforts to reform health care.
Robert Gates, who has served as defense secretary under Bush, will continue in that position in the Obama administration. (ANI)

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