Flanked by close friend and ally Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Alamo, received nothing but bipartisan praise and encouragement at her confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee this morning.
Tauscher has been nominated for a State Department job as Undersecretary for Arms Control and International Security. The full Senate confirmation vote has not been scheduled but it is generally expected to occur before Congress leaves for summer break.
House Majority Leader and Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland, spoke on Tauscher’s behalf and in the audience was her fiance, father and numerous friends.
Committee Chairman and Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., touted Tauscher’s extensive experience as a member of the House Armed Services Committee and cited what he called his tremendous personal and professional respect for the California congresswoman’s expertise.
But the most significant sign of bipartisan support came from Republican Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, a lawmaker who passionately promotes U.S. policies that help reduce worldwide threats from weapons of mass destruction.
Tauscher’s new job entails work on the next generation nuclear arms treaty with Russia, the development of a worldwide treaty on the containment of fissile nuclear materials, protection of sensitive technology, and nuclear nonproliferation policies particularly as they pertain to North Korea and Iran.
While few things in politics are done until they are done, Tauscher’s confirmation appears highly likely given the tone and tenor of this morning’s 90-minute hearing.
Once Tauscher is confirmed and she resigns her position in the 10th Congressional District, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will call for a special election to select her replacement.