Lott stalls Adelstein FCC bid

Aug 5, 2002  •  Post A Comment

Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., blocked a confirmation vote for Jonathan Adelstein late last week, according to a key source, raising new questions about when the Democrat would be cleared to step in at the Federal Communications Commission.
Sen. Lott vowed to block Mr. Adelstein’s nomination in March, when Senate Democrats refused to confirm the nomination of one of Sen. Lott’s longtime friends, U.S. District Court Judge Charles Pickering, to the federal appeals court.
Absent the opposition of Sen. Lott, sources said, Mr. Adelstein, an aide to Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., would have received the Senate’s approval Thursday evening, just before the Senate adjourned for its summer recess.
The earliest Mr. Adelstein can now assume the agency post will be sometime in September, when the Senate returns from its break. In the wake of a nominations deal with Senate leaders last month, the White House forwarded Mr. Adelstein’s nomination to the Senate, where he received a quick nod from the Senate Commerce Committee.
Now, according to a well-placed source, Sen. Lott appears to be using Mr. Adelstein’s nomination as a bargaining chip to wrest confirmation commitments from Sen. Daschle on other Bush administration nominations.
Nonetheless, the source predicted that Mr. Adelstein’s nomination will eventually go through, in part because the Bush White House has an interest in working with Sen. Daschle on a variety of key issues.
“Daschle has his hands on more levers here,” the source said.
At deadline, Sen. Lott’s press secretary had not returned telephone calls.