Senate approves Bush trade, EPA appointees

April 29, 2005 at 12:31 PM
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WASHINGTON, April 29 (UPI) -- The U.S. Senate Friday confirmed President Bush's choices to head the Environmental Protection Agency and lead U.S. trade negotiations.

Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., lifted his hold on the nomination of former Ohio congressman Rod Portman to be U.S. Trade Representative allowing the Senate to approve him for the post.

Bayh said in a statement that Portman addressed the concerns he had raised, giving him his personal commitment to "get tough on China trade, including conducting a thorough examination of China's subsidy practice."

The Senate also overcame a procedural hold on the nomination of Stephen Johnson, the EPA's acting head, to serve as the agency's next administrator.

Sen. Thomas Carper, D-Del., has blocked a vote citing the agency's failure to respond to his repeated requests for analysis about how President Bush's air pollution proposal compares to a competing congressional proposal he favors.

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