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Mail Delays

Delivery of first-class mail to the House was delayed this week due to equipment maintenance difficulties at the mail irradiation facility last weekend. Even though the machines were put back into operation relatively quickly, “The temporary shut-down will result in some delay of first class mail deliveries to the House of Representatives this week,” Chief Administrative Officer Jay Eagen wrote in a Feb. 3 “Dear Colleague” letter. [IMGCAP(1)]

“We expect the delay to be between one and four days,” he continued.

Quickly Confirmed. Less than one week after the Armed Services Committee held a hearing on former Rep. Paul McHale’s nomination to be assistant secretary of Defense, the Senate confirmed the Pennsylvania Democrat on Tuesday.

McHale, 52, was a three-term Representative first elected in 1993. He is best known for calling on President Bill Clinton to resign when his affair with intern Monica Lewinsky came to light.

A More Diplomatic Senate? The State Department’s push to open a liaison office in the Senate got a boost this week when 30 Senators signed a letter sent by Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) to the Senate Rules and Administration chairman and ranking member urging the panel to find space for such an outreach office.

“As America maintains its leadership role in an increasingly complex foreign relations landscape, the Senate must seize Secretary [of State Colin] Powell’s valuable offer to assist us in managing our responsibilities better,” the letter said.

Space Breakfast. The SubOrbital Institute invites Members and staff to a breakfast briefing from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. Monday in Room 188 of the Russell Building. The two-hour briefing will feature speakers from the Federal Aviation Administration and Department of Commerce.

— Suzanne Nelson, Mark Preston and Bree Hocking

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