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Senate Panel Delays Vote on Trump Trade Nominee Lighthizer

Posted April 06, 2017

Under International Trade Issues


(Reuters)

The Senate Finance Committee on Thursday delayed a scheduled vote on President Donald Trump’s nominee for U.S. Trade Representative due to the lack of a quorum among committee members.

Republican Senator Orrin Hatch, the committee’s chairman, said he hoped the nomination of Robert Lighthizer for the administration’s top trade negotiating job could be taken up after Congress’ two-week Easter break ends on April 24.

Senate confirmation of Lighthizer’s nomination has been delayed partly by demands from Democrats that the Finance Committee first advance a bill aimed at protecting retired coal miners’ pensions and health care benefits. Only one Democrat, Senator Ron Wyden, showed up for the start of the panel’s meeting on Thursday.

Also contributing to delays were questions over whether Lighthizer, a veteran trade lawyer and Reagan-era deputy USTR, needs a congressional waiver from a 1995 law prohibiting USTR candidates from working on behalf of foreign governments. Click here to read more.