Happy Thursday! The Obama administration’s pick to lead the Transportation Security Administration will have to wait after the Senate’s Easter Recess for an up or down
vote on his nomination, after a leading Republican raised concerns about
inspector general reports and several lawsuits related to his work as
an Army officer and government contractor.
Retired Army Maj. Gen. Robert Harding appeared before the Senate Homeland
Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Wednesday for his
second day of Senate confirmation hearings, and assured lawmakers that
none of the interrogators who worked for his contracting firm engaged in
harsh interrogation techniques when they were working in Iraqi prisons
earlier this decade.
But Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), the panel’s ranking member, told reporters afterward that she wants to do “one
final scrub” of the information submitted by Harding. That means
any committee or full Senate vote will have to wait until after the
Harding’s records raised Eyebrows when he revealed that his company repaid the government $1.8 million for billing irregularities. A billing
dispute with the Defense Intelligence Agency arose because he tried to
pay 40 of his interrogators after the agency terminated the contract, he
told lawmakers. He later settled the dispute and sold the company last
July. The billing irregularities were first
reported by CongressDaily.
Collins also revealed on Wednesday that some of Harding’s employees worked at a prison where detainee abuse occurred in 2003, contradicting
earlier White House statements that Harding’s staffers were assigned to