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Nomination Battles Are Flourishing

Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call
Hagelís nomination fight has been one of the most contentious in recent memory.

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore, indicated Wednesday that he might filibuster Brennanís nomination in order to get more information about the controversial drone program. This is Brennanís second shot at the top Intelligence position in the country. He withdrew his name from consideration for Obamaís first Cabinet amid concerns that he supported the use of enhanced interrogation tactics ó which its critics call torture ó at the CIA under Bush.

As a top counterterrorism and homeland security adviser to the president, Brennan has been at the center of the most politically charged intelligence issues of the past four years, including the drone program and a series of leaks from the administration last spring on national security issues. The issue of intelligence leaks has been a favorite of Republicans, and many of them likely will revisit those and other issues during Brennanís hearing Thursday.

Department of Transportation

Obama has not yet officially named a replacement for Ray LaHood, the former Republican congressman from the presidentís home state of Illinois. One name that is being floated for LaHoodís successor is current National Transportation Safety Board Chairwoman Deborah A.P. Hersman. Hersman was first appointed to the NTSB under Bush in 2004 and was made chairwoman by Obama in 2009 and 2011. The Senate unanimously confirmed her both times.

Department of Labor

Obama is leaning toward naming Colorado Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia to replace Hilda L. Solis as the head of the Labor Department, according to Reuters. Should Obama proceed with Garciaís nomination, it could be a politically significant one.

Garciaís appointment would ensure that Hispanics still have a place in the presidentís inner circle after Solisí and Salazarís resignations. Moreover, Colorado has become an increasingly important state to Democratsí electoral success, and having an administration surrogate from there could be valuable in 2014 and 2016.

Tim Starks, Paul M. Krawzak, Geof Koss and Alan K. Ota contributed to this report.

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