Arizona GOP Sen. Jon Kyl has reportedly relented and released late this afternoon the hold he had on Democratic Rep. Ellen Tauscher’s nomination as undersecretary for Arms Control and National Security. (Click here for my story set for publication on Thursday.)
It’s unclear why Kyl changed his mind. His press secretary hasn’t returned my calls.
I did hear that several of Tauscher’s biggest supporters, the powerful California sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, lent their considerable clout to the negotiations with the junior Arizona senator.
In theory, Kyl could have held up Tauscher’s nomination indefinitely although that was unlikely. The hold is a common procedural tactic deployed by the minority party intended to make a political point or get the administration’s attention on a particular issue. The Cable, a Washington Post-owned foreign policy news site, reported on Monday evening that Kyl is concerned about the administration’s decision to pursue arms reduction treaty talks with Russia prior to the final release of the national Nuclear Posture Review.
The Senate is scheduled to recess Thursday night prior to July 4 recess and Tauscher’s nomination is one of many still in the hopper.
But if Tauscher can secure the nomination to her new job before the Senate recesss, it will be one heck of a wedding present.
She is set to marry on Saturday retired airline pilot retired Delta Airlines pilot Jim Cieslak.