Senate delays Brennan confirmation at least two weeks

posted at 8:41 am on February 14, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

This time, the delay didn’t come from Republicans, and not even Democratic back-benchers.  The White House took a body blow today when Senate Intelligence Committee chair Dianne Feinstein pushed off the confirmation vote of John Brennan for CIA Director by at least two weeks.  Feinstein wants the Obama administration to turn over seven memos related to drones and targeted assassinations, which the White House has thus far refused to do:

A Senate confirmation vote on John O. Brennan as CIA director has been postponed for at least two weeks as lawmakers step up pressure on the Obama administration to provide more information about its drone campaign against terrorism suspects.

In particular, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said Wednesday that she is seeking seven Justice Department memos related to the administration’s targeted killing program, in addition to four the committee has been allowed to view. …

Feinstein had initially indicated that a vote on Brennan would be held this week. But she said that, under committee rules, members “have the ability to object to a vote on the nomination until after Thursday, so the vote will be delayed.” …

In addition, Feinstein said, “members on both sides of the aisle have asked that certain information . . . be provided to the committee” — a sign of deep divisions with the administration over congressional oversight of intelligence matters.

This comes less than two days after Barack Obama promised to make the drone-assassination program “even more transparent to the American people and the world.”  So far, though, they can’t even make it transparent to the Senate.  The White House claims that the memos sought by the committee either don’t exist or were superseded by later memos already provided to the committee.  However, committee members of both parties apparently don’t believe the White House and are standing firm on their demands.

So much for transparency — and credibility.  If Obama’s fellow Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee don’t believe him on the drone program, why should anyone else?

That’s not the only confirmation that’s now in jeopardy, either.  CNN reports that the White House may not have enough votes to end a filibuster on Chuck Hagel, where John McCain switched sides to get more answers on another intelligence issue:

Chuck Hagel’s bid to lead the Pentagon faces an uncertain outcome on a critical vote Friday as Democrats attempt to break a GOP filibuster of the defense secretary nominee.

Despite optimism from administration officials, who believe Hagel will get the five GOP votes he needs to end the filibuster, senior congressional sources in both parties are less positive. They told CNN they now are not sure he will get the votes.

Doubts were raised Wednesday after Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, said he was reconsidering his pledge not to filibuster Hagel because the Obama administration was refusing to provide key details about the president’s actions on the night of the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. …

“I’ve always said I just want an answer to the question,” McCain explained. “We deserve answers before we move forward with nominees. That’s been the standard I’ve pursued for the past 26 years.”

We noted this yesterday, but this could have a snowball effect. If McCain has switched to supporting a filibuster, there probably won’t be one Republican other than Susan Collins who will cross him.  That makes 44 votes for keeping debate open.  Combined with the bipartisan balk on Brennan, the momentum may make it impossible for the White House to continue stonewalling on both Benghazi and drones.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Solution: Nominate qualified candidates
Problem: Nothing but cronies in Democrat inventory

fogw on February 14, 2013 at 8:48 AM

Brennan………mmmmmmm, is that the choice that radio talker Andy Dean was praising as a good pick?

mmmmmm, let me clear this up for those that don’t know. If this President picks um. They ain’t no good.

PappyD61 on February 14, 2013 at 8:50 AM

Lsm is claiming that Reid will not honor the holds

So now what

cmsinaz on February 14, 2013 at 8:51 AM

A Maine twin voting with the dems…..same ol sane ol

cmsinaz on February 14, 2013 at 8:53 AM

If Obama’s fellow Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee don’t believe him on the drone program, why should anyone else?

Because to do otherwise is racist or something.

Happy Nomad on February 14, 2013 at 8:59 AM

Obama campaign stop later today will claim more proof of Republican obstructionism. Carney echoes @ daily presser. CNN & MSNBC panels have already been forwarded White House talking points. Somehow this gets blamed on racism. And the economy & unemployment burn

drivingtheview on February 14, 2013 at 9:06 AM

While the GOP is at it the stupid party might as well jump all over this one too.

Every freakin’ American whether Democrat or Republican is still pissed off about the mortgaged backed security debacle. Lew along with his mentor former Treasury Secretary Rubin belong in jail and should be stripped of their ill gotten gains.

What is wrong with the corrupt Bush mafia party that they are not all over this?

Uh, Wonderboy Marco, where the hell are you?

Any GOP senator who is okay with this corruptocrat is just as corrupt as Lew and part of the problem.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323696404578298352191611608.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop

Senators may also want to ask about the last paycheck Mr. Lew
received from Citigroup. On January 15, 2009, after Citi had received
taxpayer bailouts of $45 billion in cash, and hundreds of billions more
in loans and guarantees, Mr. Lew received a payment of $944,518. As he
was about to join the Obama Administration, he received this sum for
“salary, payout for vested restricted stock, discretionary cash
compensation for work performed in 2008,” according to a disclosure
report he signed in 2010.
Thus some—perhaps most—of this money was a bonus for Mr. Lew’s work
in 2008. Did Mr. Lew feel guilty signing the back of a bonus check of
almost $1 million underwritten by middle-class American taxpayers?

Mr. Lew’s supporters say he didn’t know
much about the mortgage bets that sank Citigroup because he oversaw
things like human resources and technology. But a 2008 Citigroup
organization chart provided by a Senate aide says that as chief
operating officer of Citigroup’s Alternative Investments division, Mr.
Lew also oversaw boxes labeled “Finance,” “Illiquid Operations” and
“Liquid Operations.” Perhaps Mr. Lew can illuminate the meaning of these
terms, but they sound a lot like the business of funding this
mortgage-investment unit that failed in spectacular fashion.

If Jack Lew was seeking loans for this Citi division without a clue
what the loans were funding, he might qualify as Wall Street’s most
reckless banker of 2008. And if he did have a clue and either
dismissed the risks or kept silent about them, what is he doing as the
President’s nominee to run the Treasury?

Jayrae on February 14, 2013 at 9:07 AM

These GOP clowns need to thank Hagel for his military service, but then emphasize that SecDef was never intended to a lifetime achievement award for bravery. They need to emphasize that Hagel is simply not up to the task.

BuckeyeSam on February 14, 2013 at 9:09 AM

If our president wasn’t such a straight-shooter I’d begin to suspect that he appoints incompetent abrasive morons just to manufacture the conflict.

forest on February 14, 2013 at 9:12 AM

Combined with the bipartisan balk on Brennan, the momentum may make it impossible for the White House to continue stonewalling on both Benghazi and drones.

Couple this with a SOTU that’s not going to get past a GOP House, can we say “earliest lame duck ever?”

rbj on February 14, 2013 at 9:19 AM

If our president wasn’t such a straight-shooter….

forest on February 14, 2013 at 9:12 AM

It comes from all the hours he spends shooting skeet at Camp David.

Happy Nomad on February 14, 2013 at 9:20 AM

If our president wasn’t such a straight-shooter I’d begin to suspect that he appoints incompetent abrasive morons just to manufacture the conflict.forest on February 14, 2013 at 9:12 AM

See Cloward-Piven Strategy.
Seems to fit the bill here.

Jabberwock on February 14, 2013 at 9:20 AM

If Obama’s fellow Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee

That must be a very low bar to cross.

hillsoftx on February 14, 2013 at 9:32 AM

That’s all we need is a Muslim heading up the CIA

Dollayo on February 14, 2013 at 9:36 AM

It’s unfair to say that Obama has not been transparent, because I think transparency is the hallmark of the current administration. It is so utterly devoid of any substance that we can see right through it.

Selkirk on February 14, 2013 at 9:41 AM

Wow! When the GOP has to have

Democrat Dianne Feinstein carry their water for them you KNOW something is afoot. I wonder what has her scared today. It most certainly isn’t because more Americans are fighting against the Democrat supported tyrannies. They Are NOT!

NEVER FORGET! America ALWAYS gets the government it DESERVES, and whiners win nothing!

DannoJyd on February 14, 2013 at 9:41 AM

…this is all a joke!…a bad joke!

KOOLAID2 on February 14, 2013 at 9:51 AM

Dollayo on February 14, 2013 at 9:36 AM

Can we at least use the next fourteen days to find out if “Al-Quds” Brennen is a Muslim?

BigAlSouth on February 14, 2013 at 9:56 AM

PappyD61 on February 14, 2013 at 8:50 AM

Your ” idea ” last night gave me a little hope .
Fight these bastards at every opportunity !

Lucano on February 14, 2013 at 10:27 AM

I imagine Brennan is in contact with his handlers and wants a refresher on how to talk “tequila” to the unbelievers.

BL@KBIRD on February 14, 2013 at 10:27 AM

This Brennan fellow is bad news. He needs to be iced permanently. From what I am reading about him he has know business anywhere near the reigns of power. Lose him like a bad case of the clap. Permanent hold.

Bmore on February 14, 2013 at 10:31 AM

In case you forgot …….

BTW, I was thinking about this today after listening to Rush talking about how the praise-be-unto-him President will not be held accountable EVER for his failures.

Why not shift the focus away from Obama personally and LET HIM be above the fray, but go after and destroy politically all of his minions. Focus on Pelosi and her negatives, focus on Harry Reid and his scandals. What if the opposition said “yeah, that Obama he means so well but gosh darn it, his EPA chief is just destroying the country with regulations and such.” What if the conservatives were to start saying “You know Obama is such a stand up guy but that Jack Lew and Chuck Hagel they are just horrible picks and really won’t serve our Affirmative action President well. Let’s help him pick the right people.”

What if someone started in and the meme got to be “We know the President wants America to be energy independent and he WANTS to approve the Keystone XL pipeline so why don’t we just get the EPA and the Energy departments out of the way and get this approved………do it for the President.”

4 more years is a long time to let this guy get away with his Socialism. And we know the gop have no cajones to oppose HIM personally. Anyone think they MIGHT, MIGHT, MIGHT be able to use this line of attack successfully?

PappyD61 on February 13, 2013 at 8:11 PM

Lucano on February 14, 2013 at 10:32 AM

The real question is what was Brennan up to in Benghazi that was obviously under the radar of the CIA and the Pentagon. Some say that his NSA was using SpecOps contractors and targeting suspected AQ there, which the CIA and Pentagon was not privy too, clearly outside of protocol and the law. That former, now dead, SEAL wasn’t painting a target in Benghazi for sh!ts and giggles, and I suspect Brennan knows a lot more about the attack than he’s admitting to.

TXUS on February 14, 2013 at 10:41 AM

Feinstein wants the Obama administration to turn over seven memos related to drones and targeted assassinations, which the White House has thus far refused to do:

Get used to it Dianne, “Executive Privilege”.

GarandFan on February 14, 2013 at 10:41 AM

If you just do a little research on the ole internet, you don’t have to look long to find an example of where a Cabinet nominee had been blocked, and the Senate was forced to use a cloture vote to bring about final confirmation.

That was back on May 26 2006, when the Senate had to get 60 votes for a cloture motion to force a final vote on President George W. Bush’s choice for Interior Secretary, Dirk Kempthorne.

And like Hagel, Kempthore was a former Senator.

“I know this nominee is a person deserving of our respect,” said Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) just before the 2006 vote, “But I must stand on my principles to oppose this nomination.”

While other Democrats like Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) had placed a hold on Kempthorne’s nomination, it was Nelson in 2006 who ultimately refused to allow action on the Kempthorne nomination, so the Senate was forced to vote on a cloture motion, which was approved on a vote of 85-8, well above the 60 votes needed to bring about final action.

Joining Nelson to vote for a filibuster of a Bush Cabinet nominee were, Sen. Joe Biden – now the Vice President, John Kerry – now Secretary of State, and both Senators from New York, Hillary Clinton and Charles Schumer.

J_Crater on February 14, 2013 at 11:20 AM

Fox News interview with Lt. Col. Tony Schaffer (The Center for Advanced Defense Studies), about the drone program.

jffree1 on February 14, 2013 at 2:34 PM

Well…pfftttt! The link didn’t come through.

Interview

jffree1 on February 14, 2013 at 2:35 PM