Iowa Senator Tom Harkin isn’t saying that he’ll try again to block the nomination of a fellow Iowan to a post with the U-S-D-A — but he isn’t giving any indication he supports the move. Harkin, a democrat, help block the nomination of Tom Dorr of Marcus to the post of undersecretary for rural development over questions that Dorr violated farm subsidy rules. Now Bush has renominated Dorr, but Harkin hasn’t changed his feelings on the issue. Harkin says, “Quite frankly I still have the same questions and problems with Mr. Dorr as we had a few years ago. And that’s his past and his background. I just don’t know why anyone would nominate someone for a position like this that openly and blatently tried to get money from the government that he was not entitled to.” Harkin says the nomination sends a bad message from the President for anyone involved in a farm program. “Go ahead and cheat, just don’t get caught. You know, because that’s what Mr. Dorr did. Unfortunately he got caught. And we still don’t have all of the records of all of the years involved, so we really don’t know how much more money that he got from the government that he wasn’t entitled to because we don’t have the records. What kind of message does that send.” President Bush gave Dorr a temporary appointment to the post and then named him a senior advisor when the temporary appointment expired. Harkin says he still wants answers before he would support Dorr. He says,” Nothing has changed regarding Mr. Door. I know of nothing that’s change, so therefore is nothing has changed, if he was unacceptable a few years ago, why is he acceptable now?”The senator cast a clear “No” vote on another nomination by the President. Harkin says he couldn’t support Condoleezza Rice as the Secretary of State. He says, “Generally speaking I think the President of the United States ought to have big leeway in who he has in his cabinet. But we also have a constitutional right to advice and consent. ” Harkin says he was concerned about Rice’s role in “pushing the uh, distorted evidence leading up to the preemptive war in Iraq. And the loss of U.S. credibility abroad.” As he said with Dorr, Harkin says Rice’s nomination send the wrong message. He says, “Dr. Rice’s elevation to Secretary of State sends the wrong signal to our friends and allies around the world regarding what our future diplomacy is going to be. I think her appointment just says more of the same. I just think it’s not a good move for America that she’s now our Secretary of State.” Rice was confirmed by the full Senate and began he new job today.
You are here: / / Harkin speaks out on nominations of Dorr and Rice