- The Washington Times - Friday, January 30, 2009

The confirmation of President Obama´s pick for the Pentagon’s No. 2 official remained stalled Thursday, as two Republican senators asked for more information about how the nominee, former Raytheon lobbyist William Lynn, would deal with decisions affecting his former employer.

The continuing delay in confirming Mr. Lynn is seen by some as a harbinger of the problems the Obama administration faces implementing its tough new ethics stance.

Mr. Lynn was granted a waiver from a rule banning lobbyists working for agencies they had lobbied within the past two years.

Sens. John McCain of Arizona, the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Service Committee, and Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, expressed doubts about the nomination in separate letters Thursday.

Mr. McCain is seeking a list of matters from which Mr. Lynn would recuse himself.

“I again ask that you provide your understanding of the sorts of defense programs, matters and issues which you feel you should not be allowed to participate in given your relationship with Raytheon,” Mr. McCain wrote.

Mr. Lynn a former Pentagon comptroller, was registered until July as a lobbyist for Raytheon Co., a leading defense contractor.

In response to an earlier request from Mr. McCain, he wrote that he would seek approval from Pentagon lawyers when “circumstances would cause a reasonable person with knowledge of the relevant facts to question my impartiality.”

Mr. Grassley said in his letter, “Surely, a number of Raytheon issues would come across his desk.”

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