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West Virginia lawmakers complained Thursday after their hopes of having the remains of World War I veteran Frank Buckles honored in the Capitol Rotunda were dashed, at least for now.

West Virginia’s two Democratic senators, John D. Rockefeller IV and Joe Manchin III, both released statements that House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, had blocked the Capitol honor.

Asked if that were true, Boehner spokesman Mike Steel said the speaker and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, would seek Defense Department permission for a ceremony for Buckles at Arlington Cemetery.

Buckles died Sunday at age 110. He had been the last surviving American veteran of World War I.

The bodies of prominent citizens have been displayed in the Rotunda on 30 occasions, an honor that requires a congressional resolution or the approval of congressional leaders, according to the Office of the Architect of the Capitol.

TREASURY

Geithner: Tapping oil reserves an option with prices rising

The United States and other major economies can tap strategic oil reserves if need be to keep soaring oil prices from derailing a global recovery, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said on Thursday.

Testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Mr. Geithner played down risks that political unrest in the Middle East was a major threat and said there was a lot of spare oil-production capacity in addition to reserves.

“If necessary, those reserves could be mobilized to help mitigate the effect of a severe, sustained supply disruption,” he said.

Mr. Geithner said the Obama administration was monitoring Middle East developments closely and acknowledged that rising commodity prices - for both food and oil - were causing hardship in many parts of the world by pushing prices up.

SENATE

Republicans target health law chieftain

Thus far unable to repeal President Obama’s health care law, Republicans are trying to oust the official who is quarterbacking the overhaul of the nation’s medical system.

In a letter released Thursday, 42 Republican senators asked the president to withdraw the nomination of Dr. Donald Berwick as Medicare administrator, saying his experience isn’t broad enough and that past statements raise fundamental questions about his views on policy.

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