GOP blocks pick for Interior Deputy

May 13, 2009 8:28:04 AM PDT
Republicans have blocked President Barack Obama's pick for the No. 2 job at the Interior Department because of a flap over oil leases in Utah. In a 57-39 Senate vote, Democrats fell short of the 60 votes they would have needed to advance the nominee past GOP obstacles.

It's the first time Republicans have blocked an Obama selection.

David Hayes is an environmental lawyer picked by Obama to serve in Interior's No. 2 spot. Hayes held the same post during the last three years of the Clinton administration.

Sen. Bob Bennett led Republican opposition to Hayes' nomination after Interior Secretary Ken Salazar canceled oil and gas leases in Bennett's home state of Utah.


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