Vote on Holder Postponed

Posted January 21, 2009 at 3:01pm

Despite efforts by Senate Democrats to quickly confirm Eric Holder as the next attorney general — and an acknowledgment among even partisan Republicans that there is little that they can do to block him — Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans on Wednesday forced a one-week delay in voting on his nomination.

Ranking member Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) said that he had convened a meeting of the committee’s Republicans earlier in the day to “try and find a way to move forward” with the Holder nomination but that the Members were unhappy with the amount of time that they had been given to question Holder. Specter made the remarks at a committee hearing where Holder’s nomination was supposed to be voted on.

“There was a unanimous view that there was insufficient time to question Mr. Holder,” Specter said, noting that he was meeting with the nominee late Thursday to further discuss some of his concerns.

Although Specter stressed he was not imposing a one-week delay on Holder’s nomination himself, Specter did say the GOP Senators on the committee “have asked me to articulate their request that the nomination be held over for one week.”

Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), clearly frustrated by Republicans’ decision to slow the process, abruptly adjourned the hearing and left the room.