The fast-track hearing and quick confirmation for Timothy Geithner, President-elect Barack Obama's pick for treasury secretary, is off the rails because of Geithner's tax troubles.
The Associated Press is reporting that Republicans are blocking the plans of Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee to hold the hearing on Friday.
An aide close to the confirmation process says that Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona, the No. 2 Republican on the committee, has objected to the quick hearing, the AP says, and if the GOP refuses to drop its objection, Geithner won't be confirmed until after Obama is sworn in as president on Tuesday.
UPDATE: The AP is now reporting that the hearing has been scheduled for Wednesday, the day after Obama's inauguration.
The committee's chairman, Senator Max Baucus of Montana, told reporters that Geithner's nomination would survive the current controversy. Asked if Geithner would ultimately be confirmed, Baucus replied, "Yes, clearly."
While Democrats and Obama aides are portraying the $34,000 in self-employment taxes that were paid late as a minor mistake, some Republicans are withholding judgment, noting the irony or hypocrisy that Geithner, if confirmed, would have the Internal Revenue Service under his purview.
UPDATE: Obama told reporters today that the tax issue resulted from "innocent mistakes."
"My expectation is that Timothy Geithner will be confirmed," he said.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.