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NRC selection sets up battle with Senate
Reid opposes Svinicki renomination to panel
Question of the Day
But Mr. Obama sent her nomination anyway, and the White House has said it wants to make sure the five-member NRC remains fully functioning which means the Senate would have to act quickly to clear her nomination before her term expires at the end of June.
“I agree with the White House that there shouldn’t be a break in her service on such an important commission that ensures the safety of our nation’s nuclear power plants,” said Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the top Republican in the chamber.
Ms. Svinicki was confirmed to her first term on the NRC in 2007 without any objections, but she has run into trouble after she and three other commissioners complained about abusive treatment by NRC Chairman Gregory B. Jaczko, accusing him of being difficult to work with and of berating female staffers.
Last month, Mr. Reid had signaled no intent to move quickly, saying the chamber had other priorities. His spokesman also said Ms. Svinicki lied to Congress when she testified during her first confirmation hearings that she didn’t work directly on the Yucca Mountain project.
“Making false statements to Congress is a serious matter,” four House lawmakers said in a letter to Mr. Jaczko. The letter was led by Rep. Darrell E. Issa, California Republican and chairman of the House investigative committee, and it accuses the chairman of “a pattern of disregard for congressional oversight.”
They said Mr. Jaczko said in hearings before both the House and Senate last year that he didn’t know he had been accused of making a female staffer cry yet the female staffer told investigators from the inspector general’s office that she cried in front of him, and he tried to settle her down.
The NRC issued a statement that took a dim view of the missive: “We have received the letter and we are reviewing it. There’s nothing new about these claims, and our priority continues to be where it must — on safety matters.”
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