Scroll down for updates…4:21pm Eastern Senate floor liveblogging…Hatch sings Geithner’s praises…Final vote 60-34
Woo-hoo! You’re in. Let’s go shoot some hoops.
The Barack Obama Republicans are Bending Over again.
For weeks, we’ve watched capitulationsist GOP Senators rationalize away Treasury Secretary nominee Tim Geithner’s tax, legal, and bailout failout troubles. Sen. Orrin Hatch insists he’s “very competent.” Sen. Lindsay Graham lectured us not to be “small” about it. Five B.O. Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee supported Geithner, five opposed him.
The final vote is set tonight. And the outcome is preordained (or, as Spike Lee puts it, pre-deortained): Geithner will sail through with token opposition.
The only open question is whether Sen. Hatch will chime in with a paean to Geithner’s manhood before casting his yes vote.
Behold the Party of Supplication. Bad on me for underestimating their fecklessness.
Update 4:21pm Eastern. Oh, crikey. Sen. Hatch just finished his floor statement. He did everything but praise Geithner’s manhood. Lauded his “impressive education and intelligence.” Lambasted conservative critics for obstructing the nomination and scolded them for not appreciating that Obama put in a “non-ideological” nominee. Banged the Chicken Little drum. And argued that Geithner’s mistakes made him even more uniquely qualified to handle the job.
What did I tell ya? Screw up, move up. It’s the Washington way.
Update 4:30pm Eastern. Sen. Chambliss will oppose. So will Sen. Inhofe. who objects not only to tax debacle, but also Geithner’s bailout failout record. “Given [Geithner’s] support for ad hoc bailouts — even stronger than Hank Paulson’s, I cannot support this nomination.”
Update 5:30pm Eastern: GOP Sen. Susan Collins says no.
Timothy Geithner won confirmation as U.S. Treasury secretary on Monday as the U.S. Senate set aside misgivings about his past income tax problems in light of his experience battling the financial crisis.
Geithner, 47, was expected to be sworn in quickly to help lead President Barack Obama’s efforts to stabilize a worsening economy. The Senate approved his nomination on a 60-34 vote.
With the U.S. economy in full-blown crisis, Geithner’s experience in dealing with the past year’s rapid-fire rescues of key financial firms trumped the taint from his late payment of $34,000 in self-employment taxes when he worked at the International Monetary Fund earlier this decade.
The new Treasury chief is expected to soon unveil reforms to the United States’ $700 billion financial bailout program to provide more support for housing and credit markets, and possibly a new effort to absorb troubled assets from banks.
“I would rather have a battle hardened veteran at the helm who knows the shoals and whirlpools than a neophyte who has to wade into these churning waters for the first time,” Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah said during debate on the nomination.
Waiting for the roll call vote. Some of the Dems who opposed Geithner:
Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa, Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia and Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin. Independent Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont, who caucuses with the Democrats, also voted against confirmation.
Update 7:10pm Eastern. I’ve posted the roll call vote in a new post with a breakdown of the 10 B.O. Republicans who supported Geithner.