Senator delays Duckworth confirmation

April 3, 2009 at 8:13 PM
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WASHINGTON, April 3 (UPI) -- Tammy Duckworth, the Illinois veteran who lost both legs in Iraq, had hoped to be sworn in Friday as assistant U.S. secretary of Veterans Affairs.

But her confirmation vote in the U.S. Senate was delayed when Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina, the ranking Republican on the Veterans Affairs Committee, put a hold on it, The Miami Herald reported. Because the Senate is in recess, no vote is possible until April 21.

Duckworth, named by former Gov. Rod Blagojevich as director of veterans affairs department in Illinois, was a major in the Illinois National Guard and served as a helicopter pilot in Iraq. She had planned her swearing in ceremony at Walter Reed Hospital, where she went through rehabilitation after a rocket-propelled grenade struck her helicopter, The Arlington, Ill., Herald reported.

Burr said there are problems with a questionnaire she filled out.

"Senator Burr has had plenty of time to ask questions of her," said Jon Soltz, the chairman of "Senator Burr is only hurting American veterans with this nonsense. He should stop playing petty partisan games, stop needling the White House for the sheer fun of it and grow up."

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