[Congressional Record Volume 155, Number 57 (Monday, April 20, 2009)]
[Senate]
[Pages S4426-S4430]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                           EXECUTIVE SESSION

                                 ______
                                 

  NOMINATIONS OF TONY WEST TO BE ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL; LANNY A. 
 BREUER TO BE ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL; CHRISTINE ANNE VARNEY TO BE 
                       ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the Senate will 
proceed to executive session to consider the following nominations, 
which the clerk will report.
  The assistant legislative clerk read the nominations of Tony West, of 
California, to be Assistant Attorney General; Lanny A. Breuer, of the 
District of Columbia, to be Assistant Attorney General; Christine Anne 
Varney, of the District of Columbia, to be assistant Attorney General.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, there will be 20 
minutes of debate, equally divided, prior to a vote on the West 
nomination.
  Mr. LEAHY. Madam President, this evening, the Senate should act to 
confirm three of President Obama's Justice Department nominees: Tony 
West to serve as the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division, 
Lanny Breuer to serve as the Assistant Attorney General for the 
Criminal Division, and Christine Varney to serve as the Assistant 
Attorney General for the Antitrust Division.
  I am disappointed that Republican Senators have delayed action on 
these nominations. In my view, they should have been confirmed before 
the 2-week Easter recess. There was once a time in the Senate when we 
acted on nominees pending on the Senate Executive Calendar before a 
long recess. Certainly at the beginning of a presidential term, it 
makes sense to have the President's nominees in place earlier, rather 
than engage in needless delay, especially when there is no controversy. 
I know of no controversy regarding any of these outstanding 
nominations.
  All three nominees were named by the President on January 22, 3 
months ago. They each participated in a confirmation hearing on March 
10, 6 weeks ago. After allowing time for follow-up written questions 
and answers, they were each considered by the Judiciary Committee, 
approved without a single negative vote, and reported to the Senate on 
March 26. Another week passed, but Republicans remained unwilling to 
confirm them before the April recess. That is how we find ourselves 
here, more than 12 weeks after they were designated by the President, 
without having acted on those named to head the Criminal Division, the 
Antitrust Division, or the Civil Division.
  I will be very interested to hear why these nominations could not be 
approved before the Senate recessed on April 2, and why these 
additional weeks of delay were needed. I will be interested to see who 
opposes these nominees, who comes to the floor to speak against them, 
and who justifies the delay in their confirmations. To date, I know of 
no one who opposes them. I know that no Republican member of the 
Judiciary Committee voted against any of them when they were considered 
by the committee at a business meeting more than 3 weeks ago. As I say, 
there used to be a tradition of comity, and of acting on executive 
nominations before a recess. I will be interested to learn how that 
delay is justified to the Justice Department, to the country and to 
each of these nominees.
  In a statement 2 weeks ago, I noted my disappointment that the 
Republican minority has returned to the tactics of anonymous and 
unaccountable holds, and needless delays. Attorney General Holder needs 
his leadership team in place to rebuild and restore the Department. 
None of these are controversial nominees. They all received numerous 
letters of strong support, and endorsements from both Republican and 
Democratic former public officials. They were all reported out of the 
Judiciary Committee by unanimous consent. They should have been 
confirmed weeks ago.
  What accounts for the delay? I hope that someone will explain. To 
date no one has. I am left to think back to a February column written 
by William Kristol, where he urged the Republican minority to practice 
obstruction and delay. He was specifically referring to the Republican 
efforts to oppose the President's proposals to revive our economy and 
build a new foundation for lasting prosperity. That they have done. Not 
one Republican Member of the House or Senate voted for the budget and 
not one Republican Member of the House voted for the emergency economic 
recovery package. They are adhering to a pundit's advice on important 
legislation and on the President's nominations. Their creed is to 
``obstruct and delay.'' It is not one of bipartisanship to help the 
President enact his agenda this year. It is one designed to ``slow down 
the train.'' Mr. Kristol counseled Republicans to insist on ``lengthy 
debate,'' while noting that they ``can't win politically right now,'' 
but they can ``pick other fights--and they can try in any way possible 
to break Obama's momentum.'' That is a destructive prescription, and we 
see it being played out day after day, issue after issue, nomination 
after nomination. Rather than join with the new President as he rallies 
the country and the world to economic recovery and enhanced security, 
they persist in their efforts to obstruct and delay.
  Recently the New York Times described the results of a New York 
Times/CBS News poll of the American people. Since the Republican 
opposition is so interested in poll-driven politics, I urge them to 
consider it, and reconsider their own ill-fated course. The Obama 
administration is just 11 weeks old, and already the American people 
have grown more optimistic about the economy and the direction of the 
country. Americans approve of the President's handling of the economy 
and foreign policy with fully two-thirds saying they approve of his 
overall job performance. Following his recent trip to Europe, meetings 
with other world leaders, his outreach to Turkey and his visit to Iraq, 
I expect those numbers may be even higher today. More and more people 
feel that things are headed in the right direction--despite Republican 
obstruction. Two and one half months into office, President Obama has 
broad support on economic and national security matters with almost 
two-thirds of Americans believing that President Obama is likely to 
make the right decisions.
  By contrast, only 20 percent of Americans believe that congressional 
Republicans would more likely make the right decisions about the 
nation's economy. The Republican nay-saying is sinking in. So I urge 
Senate Republicans, if they will not honor our traditional deference to 
a new President and vote for his nominees, if they will not join 
together with President Obama at a time of great challenges to America 
by working cooperatively and quickly to approve the administration's 
law enforcement leadership team, if none of those worthwhile reasons 
convince them to do the right thing, then I urge them to consider how 
the American people are reacting to their obstruction. I urge them to 
abandon the across-the-board tactics of resistance and delay. The 
majority of the American people are calling for us to work together and 
are rejecting Republican obstruction and delay.
  Tony West knows the Department of Justice well. He served in the 
Department as a Special Assistant to Deputy Attorneys General Philip 
Heymann and Jamie Gorelick. He then worked as a Federal prosecutor in 
the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California. His 
commitment to public service continued when he became a

[[Page S4427]]

Special Assistant Attorney General in the California Department of 
Justice. He has also worked in private practice. Mr. West is a graduate 
of Harvard University and Stanford University Law School, where he 
served as president of the Stanford Law Review.
  His nomination has earned support from both sides of the aisle. The 
former chairman of the California Republican Party, George Sundheim, 
sent a letter to the committee stating that Mr. West is admired by 
``both sides of the aisle'' for his ``integrity, honesty and decency,'' 
and that there is no one ``more qualified to assume a position of 
leadership in the Department of Justice.'' The Federal prosecutors who 
worked across the table from Mr. West during the high-profile 
prosecution of John Walker Lindh witnessed Mr. West's ``extraordinary 
professionalism,'' and ``smart advocacy . . . executed with the highest 
degree of integrity.'' We should confirm this outstanding leader for 
the Civil Division and should not have delayed his confirmation this 
long.
  President Obama has said that Lanny Breuer has the ``depth of 
experience and integrity'' to fulfill the highest standards of the 
American people and the Department of Justice. I agree. Mr. Breuer 
began his legal career as an assistant district attorney in the 
Manhattan District Attorney's Office. He told us during his hearing 
that his commitment to ensuring justice for all Americans stemmed from 
his days working on the front lines of the fight against crime as a 
Manhattan prosecutor. His call to public service continued while 
serving in the White House Counsel's Office as a special counsel to 
President Clinton. Mr. Breuer has also worked in private practice for 
the prestigious Washington, DC, law firm of Covington & Burling. He is 
a graduate of Columbia Law School and Columbia University.
  Michael Chertoff, who led the Criminal Division at the Department of 
Justice during the Bush administration, endorsed Mr. Breuer's 
nomination, saying he has ``exceptionally broad legal experience as a 
former prosecutor and defense attorney'' and has ``outstanding 
judgment, a keen sense of fairness, high integrity and an even 
temperament.'' Brad Berenson, a veteran of the Bush administration's 
White House counsel's office, writes that Mr. Breuer is ``everything 
one could hope for in a leader of the Criminal Division.''
  Mr. Breuer's former colleagues from the Manhattan District Attorney's 
Office have said that as a criminal prosecutor, he ``distinguished 
himself as a tenacious but scrupulously fair trial lawyer, driven by 
the unwavering goal of achieving justice.'' Former Deputy Attorney 
General Larry D. Thompson and former Congressman and DEA Administrator 
Asa Hutchinson have also written to the committee in support of Mr. 
Breuer's nomination. I agree with all their comments and wish the 
Republican minority had not stalled the confirmation of Mr. Breuer's 
nomination needlessly for an additional 2 weeks.
  Christine Varney was confirmed to be a U.S. Federal Trade 
Commissioner in 1994, after being nominated by President Clinton. As a 
Federal Trade Commissioner, Ms. Varney gained valuable experience in 
antitrust enforcement and in reducing anticompetitive measures that 
harm American consumers. Her Government service work includes a high 
level position in President Clinton's White House, where she served as 
an assistant to the President and secretary to the Cabinet. She has 
worked in private practice for the prestigious Washington, DC, law firm 
of Hogan & Hartson. She also graduated from my alma mater, the 
Georgetown University Law Center.
  Her nomination is supported by individuals who served in the 
Antitrust Division during both Democratic and Republican 
administrations. John Shenefield and James Rill, both former heads of 
the Antitrust Division, say that she is ``extraordinarily well 
qualified to lead the Antitrust Division.'' Twenty former chairs of the 
American Bar Association section of antitrust law have described Ms. 
Varney as a ``highly accomplished, capable nominee who will serve 
consumers and this country with distinction'' and who will have 
``immediate credibility'' in her new position.
  I agree. At a time when our economy is suffering, there is a 
temptation to act anticompetitively. We need to make sure that we have 
a strong and effective advocate for competition and the interests of 
consumers in place. This was not the time for delay.
  Republican Senators delayed for weeks the confirmation of Harvard Law 
School dean Elena Kagan to be the Solicitor General of the United 
States, before demanding an extended debate on her nomination. They 
delayed for 2 weeks what was a unanimous vote in favor of David Kris to 
serve as the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the National 
Security Division at the Justice Department. And they have refused for 
more than a month to consent to a time agreement for debate and a vote 
on the nomination of Dawn Johnsen to lead the critical Office of Legal 
Counsel. The nominations the Senate considers this evening are three 
additional nominations they held up needlessly this month.
  On April 1, both the New York Times and Roll Call featured reports 
suggesting that Senate Republicans intend to, and are planning to, 
filibuster the nomination of Dawn Johnsen to serve as the Assistant 
Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel at the Justice 
Department. That was no April fool's joke. That is a serious matter and 
one that hurts the President's efforts to restore the rule of law. I 
cannot remember a time when Democratic Senators filibustered a Justice 
Department nomination.
  Speech after speech by Republican Senators just a few short years ago 
about how it would be unconstitutional to filibuster Presidential 
nominees appear now to be just speeches that served a partisan 
political purpose at the time. Last month, in an online column for 
Slate entitled ``How Many Ways Can Senate Republicans Show Intellectual 
Hypocrisy?'' Dahila Lithwick observed:

       ``The irony now on display among Republicans on the Senate 
     Judiciary Committee is staggering.'' She could have included 
     Republican Senators who have recently championed the 
     principle that ``elections have consequences,'' that the 
     President is entitled to his nominees, and that filibustering 
     is an ``obstructionist tactic'' and ``obscene.''

  In her April 8 column in the Washington Post, Ruth Marcus reminded 
``the people who are considering a Johnsen filibuster how hypocritical 
this stance would be.'' She reminded them that Democrats did not 
filibuster President Bush's nominations of John Ashcroft or Ted Olson, 
although there were more than 40 negative votes on each of those 
nominations. She noted:

       ``[T]he president is entitled, absent extraordinary 
     circumstances, to have the advisers of his choosing. Voting 
     against a president's nominee is a serious step. Voting to 
     prevent that nomination from getting an up-or-down vote kicks 
     it up several notches.'' She concluded by explaining why, 
     from her own experience and knowledge, Dawn Johnsen is not 
     out of the mainstream or extreme: ``This is hardly the kind 
     of nominee so extreme that she should not be entitled to an 
     up-or-down vote.''

  The men and women at the Department of Justice have a special duty to 
uphold the rule of law because, as President Obama reminds us, ``laws 
are only as effective, only as compassionate, [and] only as fair as 
those who enforce them.'' The three nominees Republicans agreed to 
consider this evening, and Dawn Johnsen, whose nomination they refuse 
to debate and vote on, are all nominees who meet President Obama's 
standards and will work on behalf of the American people in the best 
traditions of the Department of Justice. I urge Republican Senators to 
vote to confirm these Assistant Attorney General nominations tonight.
  Then I hope we will be able to proceed to a time agreement to 
consider and vote on the nomination of Dawn Johnsen to serve as the 
Assistant Attorney General to head the important Office of Legal 
Counsel at the Justice Department. Her work has been delayed too long. 
The President designated her back on January 5. The time has come to 
debate that nomination and vote it up or down. The President has 
suspended the OLC opinions until they can be reviewed; she will head 
that review. The delay has gone on long enough. The Senate should vote.
  Mr. KAUFMAN. Madam President, I rise today in support of the 
nomination of Tony West to be Assistant Attorney General for the Civil 
Division of the Department of Justice.

[[Page S4428]]

  As we saw from his confirmation hearing in the Judiciary Committee, 
Tony West has the superb intellect, seasoned judgment, and wealth of 
experience necessary to be an outstanding head of the Civil Division.
  Mr. West's academic credentials are extremely impressive. He earned 
his BA from Harvard, where he was the publisher of the Harvard 
Political Review. He received his JD from Stanford Law School, where he 
was president of the Stanford Law Review.
  Following law school, Mr. West began a career in which he has 
demonstrated great devotion to public service. In 1993 and 1994, he 
served with distinction as a Special Assistant in the Department of 
Justice, where he was involved in the development of national crime 
policy, including the 1994 omnibus crime bill. He has also served as an 
assistant U.S. attorney for the Northern District of California, and as 
a California special assistant attorney general.
  In private practice at one of the country's leading law firms, Mr. 
West has also excelled, representing a wide range of clients from 
indigent individuals in civil rights litigation to multinational 
corporations in complex commercial matters.
  Outside of his practice, Mr. West has been a significant contributor 
to the legal community. He has served on the governing board of the 
Northern California Association of Business Trial Lawyers, as a Ninth 
Circuit lawyer representative, and as a member of the Litigation 
Section Executive Committee for the San Francisco Bar Association.
  Just as important, while in private practice, Mr. West has directed 
his considerable talent and energy to important pro bono work and 
public service. By way of example, he has served as a judge in 
Oakland's McCullum Youth Court, a courtroom run by students that 
focuses on rehabilitation of first-time youth offenders.
  The Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division has a set of 
responsibilities that are always important, never more so than right 
now.
  As just one example, the Civil Division is integral to keeping 
Americans, and taxpayer dollars, safe from financial fraud. In the 
aftermath of the financial meltdown that has thrown the American 
economy into a serious recession, we must ensure that lawbreakers do 
not keep their ill-gotten gains. And for our economic recovery plans to 
work, we must ensure Americans' faith in our government's ability to 
exercise appropriate oversight in the use of the economic recovery 
funds Congress has appropriated.
  The President has made an excellent choice in selecting Tony West to 
lead the Civil Division. He is a skilled and accomplished lawyer, a 
leader and a team player, and a person of unquestioned integrity. The 
Attorney General and the country need him in place as soon as possible.
  Mr. UDALL of New Mexico. Madam President, we yield back all remaining 
time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The time is yielded back.
  Mr. UDALL of New Mexico. Madam President, I ask for the yeas and 
nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There is a sufficient second.
  The question is, Will the Senate advise and consent to the nomination 
of Tony West, of California, to be Assistant Attorney General? On this 
question, the yeas and nays have been ordered, and the clerk will call 
the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk called the roll.
  Mr. REID. I announce that the Senator from Alaska (Mr. Begich), the 
Senator from Connecticut (Mr. Dodd), the Senator from Illinois (Mr. 
Durbin), the Senator from Massachusetts (Mr. Kennedy), the Senator from 
Connecticut (Mr. Lieberman), the Senator from West Virginia (Mr. 
Rockefeller), and the Senator from Oregon (Mr. Wyden) are necessarily 
absent.
  Mr. McCONNELL. The following Senators are necessarily absent: the 
Senator from Utah (Mr. Bennett), the Senator from Mississippi (Mr. 
Cochran), the Senator from Arizona (Mr. Kyl), the Senator from Arizona 
(Mr. McCain), the Senator from Kansas (Mr. Roberts), and the Senator 
from Mississippi (Mr. Wicker).
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber 
desiring to vote?
  The result was announced--yeas 82, nays 4, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 155 Ex.]

                                YEAS--82

     Akaka
     Alexander
     Barrasso
     Baucus
     Bayh
     Bennet
     Bingaman
     Bond
     Boxer
     Brown
     Brownback
     Burr
     Burris
     Byrd
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Coburn
     Collins
     Conrad
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Crapo
     DeMint
     Dorgan
     Ensign
     Enzi
     Feingold
     Feinstein
     Gillibrand
     Graham
     Grassley
     Gregg
     Hagan
     Harkin
     Hatch
     Hutchison
     Inhofe
     Inouye
     Johanns
     Johnson
     Kaufman
     Kerry
     Klobuchar
     Kohl
     Landrieu
     Lautenberg
     Leahy
     Levin
     Lincoln
     Lugar
     Martinez
     McCaskill
     McConnell
     Menendez
     Merkley
     Mikulski
     Murkowski
     Murray
     Nelson (NE)
     Nelson (FL)
     Pryor
     Reed
     Reid
     Risch
     Sanders
     Schumer
     Sessions
     Shaheen
     Snowe
     Specter
     Stabenow
     Tester
     Thune
     Udall (CO)
     Udall (NM)
     Vitter
     Voinovich
     Warner
     Webb
     Whitehouse

                                NAYS--4

     Bunning
     Chambliss
     Isakson
     Shelby

                             NOT VOTING--13

     Begich
     Bennett
     Cochran
     Dodd
     Durbin
     Kennedy
     Kyl
     Lieberman
     McCain
     Roberts
     Rockefeller
     Wicker
     Wyden
  The nomination was confirmed.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, there will now be 2 
minutes of debate equally divided prior to a vote on the Breuer 
nomination.
  The Senator from Vermont is recognized.
  Mr. LEAHY. Madam President, we have three nominations that should 
have been confirmed by voice vote. Before we left on recess, the 
Republicans asked to hold them up for 2 weeks. I wish they had not 
because these are nominiees to vital positions in the Department of 
Justice. Only four Senators, after holding them up for 2 weeks, not 
allowing them to be there, only four Senators voted against Tony West 
to be head of the Civil Division. We now have Lanny Breuer to serve as 
Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division. These are people 
who were voted out of the Judiciary Committee unanimously by 
Republicans and Democrats. I hope we have a similar vote. A rollcall 
has been requested on the Republican side, which is fine; they have 
that right. But I hope we will confirm this nomination also.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Pennsylvania.
  Mr. SPECTER. Madam President, I believe Mr. Breuer warrants 
confirmation.
  Mr. KAUFMAN. Madam President, I rise today in support of the 
nomination Lanny Breuer to be Assistant Attorney General for the 
Criminal Division of the Department of Justice.
  Lanny Breuer is a superb lawyer with unquestioned integrity. We are 
fortunate that the President has selected him to head the Criminal 
Division of the Department of Justice.
  As we saw from his confirmation hearing in the Judiciary Committee, 
Mr. Breuer has the sharp intellect, wealth of experience, and superb 
judgment necessary to be an outstanding leader.
  Early in his career, he served as a prosecutor in the Manhattan 
District Attorney's Office, working for the legendary Robert 
Morgenthau. While there, he not only gained an appreciation for the 
important work on the front lines of criminal prosecution, but he also 
demonstrated the sort of temperament and judgment that are critical to 
success in the position for which he has been nominated.
  Mr. Breuer also served with distinction in the White House as Special 
Counsel to the President. From there, he moved to one of the country's 
great law firms, where he currently cochairs its white collar defense 
and investigations group. Taken together, this broad experience will 
serve him well as Assistant Attorney General.
  Just as important, Mr. Breuer has a deep appreciation for the 
importance of public service. Since 2003, he has served as vice chair 
of his firm's Public Service Committee, which oversees the firm's pro 
bono programs.
  His personal pro bono work has been impressive as well. One of the 
letters in support received by this committee details Mr. Breuer's 
application of his impressive legal skills and considerable

[[Page S4429]]

determination to rid a District of Columbia neighborhood of a powerful 
drug dealing organization that operated out of a local bar. Almost 20 
years later, the neighbors he helped still remember and praise his 
important work on their behalf.
  The Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division has a set of 
responsibilities that are always important, never more so than right 
now.
  As just one example, the Criminal Division is integral to keeping 
Americans safe not only from violent crime but also from financial 
fraud. In the aftermath of the financial meltdown that has thrown the 
American economy into a serious recession, we must ensure that 
lawbreakers will be identified and prosecuted for financial fraud.
  Punishing complex financial crimes and deterring future fraud are 
vital to restoring confidence in our decimated financial markets. We 
need to get Lanny Breuer in place just as soon as we can, to make sure 
that the trail of any criminals who contributed to this meltdown does 
not grow cold.
  Finally, I would like to add that Mr. Breuer is not just a brilliant 
legal mind, but he's also a person of great character. As Robert 
Morgenthau said in his letter of support:

       Mr. Breuer consistently handled his responsibilities with 
     keen analytical ability, common sense, total integrity and an 
     exemplary sense of justice. . . . [H]e also understood that 
     the power and authority possessed by a prosecutor will be 
     best balanced by humility and discretion. He never wavered in 
     his pursuit of fairness and justice.

  That is precisely the sort of person we need, right now, to head the 
Criminal Division of the Department of Justice.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there further debate? If not, the question 
is, Will the Senate advise and consent to the nomination of Lanny A. 
Breuer, of the District of Columbia, to be an Assistant Attorney 
General?
  Mr. SPECTER. I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk called the roll.
  Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from Alaska (Mr. Begich), the 
Senator from Connecticut (Mr. Dodd), the Senator from Massachusetts 
(Mr. Kennedy), the Senator from Connecticut (Mr. Lieberman), the 
Senator from West Virginia (Mr. Rockefeller), and the Senator from 
Oregon (Mr. Wyden) are necessarily absent.
  Mr. McCONNELL. The following Senators are necessarily absent: the 
Senator from Utah (Mr. Bennett), the Senator from Mississippi (Mr. 
Cochran), the Senator from Arizona (Mr. Kyl), the Senator from Arizona 
(Mr. McCain), and the Senator from Kansas (Mr. Roberts).
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mrs. Shaheen). Are there any other Senators in 
the Chamber desiring to vote?
  The result was announced--yeas 88, nays 0, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 156 Ex.]

                                YEAS--88

     Akaka
     Alexander
     Barrasso
     Baucus
     Bayh
     Bennet
     Bingaman
     Bond
     Boxer
     Brown
     Brownback
     Bunning
     Burr
     Burris
     Byrd
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Chambliss
     Coburn
     Collins
     Conrad
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Crapo
     DeMint
     Dorgan
     Durbin
     Ensign
     Enzi
     Feingold
     Feinstein
     Gillibrand
     Graham
     Grassley
     Gregg
     Hagan
     Harkin
     Hatch
     Hutchison
     Inhofe
     Inouye
     Isakson
     Johanns
     Johnson
     Kaufman
     Kerry
     Klobuchar
     Kohl
     Landrieu
     Lautenberg
     Leahy
     Levin
     Lincoln
     Lugar
     Martinez
     McCaskill
     McConnell
     Menendez
     Merkley
     Mikulski
     Murkowski
     Murray
     Nelson (NE)
     Nelson (FL)
     Pryor
     Reed
     Reid
     Risch
     Sanders
     Schumer
     Sessions
     Shaheen
     Shelby
     Snowe
     Specter
     Stabenow
     Tester
     Thune
     Udall (CO)
     Udall (NM)
     Vitter
     Voinovich
     Warner
     Webb
     Whitehouse
     Wicker

                             NOT VOTING--11

     Begich
     Bennett
     Cochran
     Dodd
     Kennedy
     Kyl
     Lieberman
     McCain
     Roberts
     Rockefeller
     Wyden
  The nomination was confirmed.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. There will now be 2 minutes of debate prior to 
a vote on the Varney nomination.
  The Senator from Vermont.
  Mr. LEAHY. Madam President, the 88-to-0 vote, again, was one that, 
instead of having a voice vote before the recess on a key member of the 
Department of Justice, our friends on the Republican side insisted we 
have. We held it up for 2 weeks. I am glad to see that now the right 
thing has been done with not a single dissenting vote. I wish it could 
have been done 2 weeks earlier so they could get to work at the 
Department of Justice.
  Mr. SPECTER. Madam President, I can't hear Senator Leahy, so I will 
not know how to formulate my rebuttal.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Vermont may continue.
  Mr. LEAHY. Madam President, the third vote is Christine Varney--and I 
hope we have a similar vote--to serve as Assistant Attorney General for 
the Antitrust Division. Again, I wish it could have been done 2 weeks 
ago, but I would hope we would go forward.
  Mr. HATCH. Madam President, as the ranking Republican on the 
Antitrust Subcommittee, I rise to voice my support for the confirmation 
of Christine Varney to be the next Assistant Attorney General in charge 
of the Department of Justice's Antitrust Division.
  This is a role to which, I believe, she is ideally suited.
  Ms. Varney served as a Federal Trade Commissioner from 1994 to 1997. 
As we all know, our Nation has two separate agencies, the Department of 
Justice's Antitrust Division and the Federal Trade Commission, that are 
responsible for enforcing our antitrust laws. Ensuring that these 
agencies efficiently and effectively execute those laws is a major 
concern of the Antitrust Subcommittee. In fact, I recently posed the 
theoretical question as to whether a merger of the FTC's antitrust arm 
and the Department of Justice's Antitrust Division would not create a 
more efficient regulatory regime. Although I believe this question 
deserves further close consideration by the Antitrust Subcommittee, I 
was delighted to see that Jon Leibowitz, Chairman of the FTC, was 
present, and even an active participant, at Ms. Varney's nomination 
hearing. Undoubtedly, this was to support her confirmation and, 
presumably, to show the intent of these two leaders to bring greater 
cooperation between the Antitrust Division and the FTC.
  In addition to Ms. Varney's experience with an executive agency 
enforcing our antitrust laws, she has also developed a strong 
reputation in the private sector. Ms. Varney was heavily involved in 
one of the most important antitrust cases of modern time: U.S. v. 
Microsoft. In that matter, she represented Netscape. She also 
represented Netscape in its merger with AOL. Presently, she is a 
partner at Hogan and Hartson, where she is head of that firm's Internet 
Law practice group. Her experience in these matters is of particular 
relevance due to the recent number of proposed mergers affecting the 
Internet. The importance of these contemplated mergers has only been 
highlighted by the number of hearings that the Antitrust Subcommittee 
has held on the issues that have arisen because of these proposed 
transactions.
  I also appreciate the commitment she made in her written responses to 
the committee's questions to work with me on an antitrust issue that is 
close to the hearts of every Utahn: the inequities that occur currently 
due to the so-called Bowl Championship Series. The current system is a 
clear violation of our Nation's antitrust laws and I look forward to 
working with the Antitrust Division to develop an appropriate remedy.
  On a personal level, I have had an opportunity to meet and talk to 
Ms. Varney. I appreciate her collegial and professional manner. I 
believe she is an individual who will strive to work with Congress to 
ensure that fair competition is maintained and the rule of law 
enforced.
  Therefore, I recommend Ms. Varney's confirmation to colleagues and 
look to working with her in the years to come.
  Mr. KAUFMAN. Madam President, I rise today in support of the 
nomination of Christine Varney to be Assistant Attorney General for the 
Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice.
  In selecting Ms. Varney, the President has chosen wisely. She has the 
experience, the intellect, and the judgment necessary to be a superb 
leader of

[[Page S4430]]

the Antitrust Division. Just as important, she has the character and 
integrity to help the Attorney General restore the public faith in the 
Department of Justice.
  Over the course of her impressive 23-year legal career, Ms. Varney 
has held a wide range of significant positions that make her uniquely 
qualified for this critical position. After starting her career in 
private practice, she served in the Clinton administration as an 
Assistant to the President and Secretary to the Cabinet. In October 
1994, President Clinton nominated Ms. Varney to the Federal Trade 
Commission. After Senate confirmation, she held that position until 
1997. As a Commissioner, she distinguished herself in several important 
ways. Most important to me, she demonstrated her commitment to the idea 
that antitrust enforcement must be both vigorous and fair.
  At this decisive time for our Nation's economy, we need an approach 
to antitrust enforcement that promotes competition, drives innovation, 
and protects the consumer. Based on her time at the FTC, and in private 
practice, I have no doubt that Ms. Varney is the right person to lead 
the Antitrust Division. Ms. Varney should be confirmed without delay.
  Mr. LEAHY. Madam President, I ask for the yeas and nays on the 
nomination, as the Republicans had requested.
  Mr. SPECTER. Is my time reserved, Madam President?
  Mr. LEAHY. Yes, it is. I am just asking for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Pennsylvania.
  Mr. SPECTER. Let's confirm her.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second? There appears to 
be.
  Does the Senator from Pennsylvania wish to use his time?
  Mr. SPECTER. Madam President, I used all the time I wanted. Let's 
confirm her.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is, Will the Senate advise and 
consent to the nomination of Christine Anne Varney, of the District of 
Columbia, to be an Assistant Attorney General?
  The yeas and nays have been ordered.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk called the roll.
  Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from Alaska (Mr. Begich), the 
Senator from Connecticut (Mr. Dodd), the Senator from Massachusetts 
(Mr. Kennedy), the Senator from Connecticut (Mr. Lieberman), the 
Senator from West Virginia (Mr. Rockefeller), and the Senator from 
Oregon (Mr. Wyden) are necessarily absent.
  Mr. McCONNELL. The following Senators are necessarily absent: the 
Senator from Utah (Mr. Bennett), the Senator from Mississippi (Mr. 
Cochran), the Senator from Arizona (Mr. Kyl), the Senator from Arizona 
(Mr. McCain), and the Senator from Kansas (Mr. Roberts).
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber 
desiring to vote?
  The result was announced--yeas 87, nays 1, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 157 Ex.]

                                YEAS--87

     Akaka
     Alexander
     Barrasso
     Baucus
     Bayh
     Bennet
     Bingaman
     Bond
     Boxer
     Brown
     Brownback
     Burr
     Burris
     Byrd
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Chambliss
     Coburn
     Collins
     Conrad
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Crapo
     DeMint
     Dorgan
     Durbin
     Ensign
     Enzi
     Feingold
     Feinstein
     Gillibrand
     Graham
     Grassley
     Gregg
     Hagan
     Harkin
     Hatch
     Hutchison
     Inhofe
     Inouye
     Isakson
     Johanns
     Johnson
     Kaufman
     Kerry
     Klobuchar
     Kohl
     Landrieu
     Lautenberg
     Leahy
     Levin
     Lincoln
     Lugar
     Martinez
     McCaskill
     McConnell
     Menendez
     Merkley
     Mikulski
     Murkowski
     Murray
     Nelson (NE)
     Nelson (FL)
     Pryor
     Reed
     Reid
     Risch
     Sanders
     Schumer
     Sessions
     Shaheen
     Shelby
     Snowe
     Specter
     Stabenow
     Tester
     Thune
     Udall (CO)
     Udall (NM)
     Vitter
     Voinovich
     Warner
     Webb
     Whitehouse
     Wicker

                                NAYS--1

       
     Bunning
       

                             NOT VOTING--11

     Begich
     Bennett
     Cochran
     Dodd
     Kennedy
     Kyl
     Lieberman
     McCain
     Roberts
     Rockefeller
     Wyden
  The nomination was confirmed.
  (At the request of Mr. Reid, the following statement was ordered to 
be printed in the Record.)
 Mr. DODD. Mr. President, I rise today to state my support for 
the three nominees that the Senate confirmed earlier today. Due to 
weather delays, I was unavoidably absent from the Senate during the 
votes on the three nominees to be Assistant Attorneys General in the 
Department of Justice. Had I been present I would have voted yea for 
all three nominees.
  All three individuals are eminently qualified and I believe will be 
superb additions to President Obama's administration.
  Let me briefly talk about these well-qualified individuals. Tony West 
will be the next Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division. He 
served previously in the Department of Justice as a Special Assistant 
to two Deputy Attorneys General during the Clinton administration. He 
also served in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of 
California as a prosecutor. Mr. West is a graduate of Harvard 
University and Stanford University Law School, where he served as 
president of the Stanford Law Review.
  Lanny Breuer received both his undergraduate and law degree from 
Columbia University. After law school, he worked as an Assistant 
District Attorney in Manhattan. During the Clinton administration, he 
served as Special Counsel in the White House. He has also worked at the 
law firm Covington & Burling. Mr. Breuer will serve as the next 
Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division.
  Finally, Christine Varney will serve as the next Assistant Attorney 
General of the Antitrust Division. I believe she is uniquely qualified 
for this position. A graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center, 
Ms. Varney served as a U.S. Federal Trade Commissioner and, later, as 
an assistant to President Clinton and Secretary to the Cabinet.
  Again, had I been present I would have voted yea on these nominations 
and I am pleased that all three nominees were approved overwhelmingly 
in the Senate today.
  (At the request of Mr. Reid, the following statement was ordered to 
be printed in the Record.)
 Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, on vote No. 155, I was unavoidably 
detained. Had I been present for the vote, I would have voted to 
confirm the nomination of Tony West to be an Assistant Attorney General 
for the Department of Justice, Civil Division.

                          ____________________