Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) dropped his hold on the nomination of Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-Calif.) for a top job at the State Department, clearing the way for her possible approval by weeks end.
Kyls hold on Tauschers nomination for undersecretary of State for arms control and international security was tied to his concerns over the Obama administrations ongoing negotiations with Russia on strategic arms reductions. Kyl charged the administration was not properly informing the Senate of the ongoing discussions, prompting him to block the nomination of Tauscher, whose State Department position would include jurisdiction over treaty negotiations.
The Foreign Relations Committee unanimously approved Tauscher, a seven-term House Member, for the State job last month.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.