The Senate Finance Committee will reschedule a session to consider the nomination of President Trump’s pick for U.S. Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer, to ensure that Democratic member Sherrod Brown (OH) -- who told Inside U.S. Trade he is likely to vote in favor of Lighthizer -- and other Democrats can be present.
[Jenny Leonard & Jack Caporal] April 4th, 2017 [Inside US Trade]
Brown said Tuesday he intends to vote in favor of moving Lighthizer out of committee regardless of whether a deal is struck on a statutory waiver that Democrats have insisted is needed for Lighthizer to be appointed USTR, and which they have linked to action on a miners’ benefits bill. Democrats say the waiver is needed due to work he did as a trade attorney for foreign governments.
Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) on Tuesday scheduled the executive session to consider Lighthizer for April 6, but Brown and panel member Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) said they have scheduling conflicts that day and will not be able to attend.
Hatch told Inside U.S. Trade shortly after the announcement of the Thursday vote that the executive session will be rescheduled so Brown and other Finance members can be there.
Hatch said the committee will “probably have to put [Lighthizer] off” until after the congressional recess that begins April 7, but again stressed he feels confirming the USTR nominee is an urgent priority.