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The Honorable Patrick Leahy
United States Senator
Opening Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.),
We meet today while the Federal Government and most of the city remains shut down in the wake of a blizzard and record snow falls for this area. I thank the Senators who are with us today.
I commend Senator Klobuchar for chairing and Senator Sessions for serving as the ranking Republican at a confirmation hearing we held earlier this morning. We proceeded with that confirmation hearing for Federal district court nominees from around the country who had traveled to the District of Columbia earlier this week. They include nominees from California, Indiana, Missouri and Nevada. I did not want their travel to Washington between snowstorms to go for naught. Working with them, I rescheduled their hearing from yesterday afternoon to this morning. Some of them had already been delayed from a planned hearing last week when he Republican side was not prepared to proceed. Although we were required to postpone our legislative hearings scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, I wanted to complete our hearing for these nominees if at all possible, and we have.
Just as I was determined for the Committee to proceed in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks and the anthrax attacks on the Senate to consider President Bush's nominees, I have asked the Committee to continue to do its work this week in connection with President Obama's nominees. We have a number of nominees on our agenda today that I would like to advance without further delay. They have all been held over from previous meetings. One was previously reported last year but returned to the President without action and required to be renominated and is being reconsidered. With a majority in support, there is little uncertainly about how the Committee will vote on any of these nominees.
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