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Democrats Expect Filibuster of Interior Nominee

Sen. Bob Bennett (R-Utah) has placed a hold on the nomination of David Hayes to be deputy secretary of the Interior, according to the Salt Lake Tribune, and Democrats predicted Tuesday night that Republicans would support Bennett’s filibuster of the nomination in a procedural vote Wednesday morning.Jim Manley, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), claimed late Tuesday that Republicans were preparing to filibuster Hayes.“I am not in the business of predicting outcomes, but we are hearing the same comments,— Bennett said. “Members understand this is about national energy policy and the minority’s right to be heard.— Republicans have expressed concern with Hayes’ positions on oil and gas issues, and Bennett in particular is upset with Interior Secretary Ken Salazar for canceling oil and gas leases on land in Utah.Although Republicans hold only 40 seats, Democrats are one seat shy of the 60 needed to cut off a filibuster because of the ongoing legal battle in Minnesota between former Sen. Norm Coleman (R) and comedian Al Franken (D).