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Read the text of Tauscher’s final comments

Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Alamo

Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Alamo

Here is the text of Rep. Ellen Tauscher’s final comments on the floor of the House of Representatives this morning. (I used PDF conversion software so forgive me in advance if I failed to catch all the scanning mistakes.)

(By unanimous consent, Mrs. Tauscher was allowed to speak out of order)

Confirmation of Congresswoman Tauscher by U.S. Senate as Under Secretary of State

Mrs. TAUSCHER.: Mr. Chairman and my colleagues, I rise to announce that I have been confirmed by the United States Senate as Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security. I have informed my friend, the Speaker of the House, and the Governor of California that I will be resigning my seat at the end of votes today.

Madam Speaker, Mr. Chairman, I am deeply grateful for the trust that both President Obama and Secretary Clinton have placed in me. I am equally grateful and humbled by the honor and privilege to have represented California’s 10th Congressional District for the last 13 years in the House of Representatives. It has been the deepest and greatest professional experience of my life, and I am deeply, deeply grateful for the opportunity and the trust that my constituents have placed in me.

In my seven terms in the Congress, I have tried to keep my promise of being an independent and effective moderate. I have worked hard, and I have worked with you. I look around the room; many Members I have served with for the entire time I have been here, and some of you I have flown on planes with and some of you I have taken codels with.

What I know is that we sit here and we do the people’s work, and whether we agree or not doesn’t always matter. What is most important is that we represent our constituents, that we honor the Constitution, and we keep faith with our conscience. Those are the three Cs that I have tried for these years to maintain in balance. It’s not always easy, but I have tried.

I look at all of you and I understand how difficult this world is and how troubling the lives of many Americans are now and how heavy the burden is on you. What I pledge to you, as I leave the legislative branch in this great House that I have grown to love and all of you that I love, and my constituents that I love, what I promise you in my new capacity is to work with you to achieve what we all know is important, to make sure that we have the safety and the security of the American people always on the forefront of our minds.

I have been blessed to have, I think, some of the best staff in the world. I have always told people I represent the smartest people in the world. I have the two national nuclear labs in Livermore, California, and I have Travis Air Force Base and 600-some-odd thousand constituents who apparently, now, 100 percent of them have voted for me every time. There’s nothing like leaving to become popular.

But I just want to thank, the staff who have worked with me both on the subcommittee and my personal staff and my district staff that have been just absolutely fabulous.

I want to thank my friends in the House, my friends that started as friends and became family and who have sustained me and with whom I have learned so much.

I want to thank the Speaker for her indefatigable energy. I want to thank Steny Hoyer. I want to thank my partner in my county, George Miller. I want to thank Ike Skelton and Jim Oberstar, my chairmen, for being so generous and for helping me learn.

I want to thank, again, my constituents for the honor. I especially want to thank my family, my parents and my sisters and brothers and my friends who have been patient and understanding when I couldn’t be at birthday parties and volleyball games.

I want to thank my daughter, who was raised in the House. She came here as a 5-1/2-year-old. She is now going to college, and I am so thrilled that she is emancipated and happy and healthy and a smart young woman. And you should be as proud of her as I am, because you helped raise her.

And I want to thank, especially, my fiance, Jim Cieslak, who I will marry tomorrow. Thank you. It’s hard to be a blushing bride at my age, but l will do my best.

Let me just close and say that no matter where I am serving in government, I will always remember those that sent me here, and I will always be grateful for your trust and support.

I just want to take a second and say that I have been honored to represent the Speaker on the podium, and there’s nothing like having the view from up there. Because the view from up there is of all of you, and that’s the best view I have had, I think, in my life. I will take that in my heart as I go to the state Department.

I want to thank all the people behind the scenes who work so hard to make sure that we do the job that we do. I am not saying goodbye, I am just saying farewell for the time being. I expect I will work with you all very well, but know that this has been the best experience of my life.

God bless you. God bless America.

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Tauscher is confirmed

Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Alamo

Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Alamo

Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Alamo, was confirmed just minutes ago on the floor of the U.S. Senate as Undersecretary for Arms Control and International Security in the State Department.

Her official resignation will come in the next day or so and she is scheduled to speak on Friday morning from the floor of the House of Representatives.

After she resigns, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will name a date for a special election to select her replacement.

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Hold on Tauscher’s nomination lifted

Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Alamo

Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Alamo

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.

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Ariz. senator puts hold on Tauscher nomination

Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Alamo

Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Alamo

UPDATE AT 4:57 PM: Click here for my story on the Kyl hold. Note that the “tonight” in the story refers to Thursday. I wrote it for tomorrow’s print edition but an editor did not make the change to reflect that when it was posted online. LAV

The Cable, a Washington Post-owned website dedicated to covering foreign policy, is reporting that conservative U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., has placed a hold on the nomination of Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Alamo, as undersecretary for Arms Control and International Security.

It’s unclear what this will mean to the outcome of this nomination other than it will almost certainly delay it.

There have been rumblings for several months that Kyl was unhappy with President Barack Obama’s support of an international nuclear nonproliferation initiative as well as other issues. Here is a snippet of what The Cable wrote:

Kyl’s office confirmed his remaining hold on Tauscher’s nomination. “He honestly has made no guise of his hold on her nomination,” spokesman Ryan Patmintra told The Cable Monday. “He expressed privately to the administration his concerns. He has chosen not to discuss them publicly.”

A congressional source told The Cable last week that Kyl objects to the administration pursuing strategic arms reductions talks with Moscow before its Nuclear Posture Review is complete. The U.S.-Russia START treaty is set to expire in December, so the administration feels it has little choice but to proceed with the treaty negotiations.