Geithner’s Confirmation Hearing Postponed

Posted January 14, 2009 at 10:44am

The Senate Finance Committee has postponed its confirmation hearing for Treasury secretary appointee Tim Geithner, hinting that the nominee’s tax woes made public yesterday have damaged his support on Capitol Hill.

Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) had scheduled the confirmation hearing for Friday morning, but at least two GOP members — Sens. Jim Bunning (Ky.) and Jon Kyl (Ariz.) — raised objections to the date. The objections come one day after committee members hurriedly met to discuss news that Geithner failed to pay nearly $40,000 in taxes, and once employed an immigrant housekeeper whose work permit had expired.

Despite Geithner’s financial missteps, Baucus said the nominee would “clearly get confirmed.” Baucus has scheduled the hearing for Jan. 21, but hopes to hold it earlier if the objections are withdrawn.

But despite the concerns of Bunning and Kyl, other Republican Senators have maintained support for Geithner.

“I’m confident in his ability. I don’t hold mistakes against people … and it was a mistake,” Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said Wednesday, adding that Geithner will get confirmed because “the Democrats have the votes to do it.”

Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) also said he supports Geithner, who is president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank.

“I don’t think I see enough in there to cause a problem. Anyone who’s studied the IRS code knows it’s complex,” he said.