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Levin supports Lynn ethics waiver

Jan. 24, 2009 at 8:14 AM

WASHINGTON, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., said he supports the nomination of William Lynn to serve as the deputy U.S. secretary of Defense.

Levin declared his support for an ethics waiver for Lynn, a former lobbyist, after the Obama administration waived its own tight restrictions on appointing lobbyists to government posts, the Washington publication The Hill reported Saturday.

But, he warned, there would be restrictions placed on the former Raytheon Corp. executive, including demands that Lynn comply with a strict set of ethics rules, such as a requirement to remove himself for a year from any decisions involving the defense contractor.

"The decision of the administration to impose an additional set of requirements, and then waive them for this nominee, does not change the standards to which we hold all nominees," Levin told reporters.

A coalition of government watchdog groups had urged that Lynn's nomination be rejected as the Pentagon's No. 2 official because of his lobbying activities for Raytheon during the last two years, The Hill reported.

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