Lighthizer nomination hearing set for Tuesday

Lighthizer nomination hearing set for Tuesday
© Victoria Sarno Jordan

The Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing Tuesday on the the nomination of Robert Lighthizer to be the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR).

The 69-year-old lawyer and former Capitol Hill staffer will meet with the committee to discuss his vision for the nation’s trade agenda in a Trump administration. 

“In order for Congress to have a strong say in the Trump administration’s trade policy agenda, we need to confirm the USTR as soon as possible,” said panel Chairman Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchSenate GOP divided over whether they'd fill Supreme Court vacancy  Five takeaways as panel grills tech CEOs Trump awards medal of freedom to former congressman, Olympian Jim Ryun MORE (R-Utah).

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“After unprecedented delays and unrealistic and unrelated demands that have hindered the advancement of Mr. Lighthizer’s nomination, it is past time to allow the committee to examine the nominee’s qualifications to lead USTR,” Hatch said.

The nomination has been held up by the insistence of all 12 Finance Committee Democrats who want to link a congressional waiver with a bill that would provide pension and healthcare benefits for coal miners. The latest extension of the coal-miner bill is set to expire soon. 

Hatch has said he doesn't think Lighthizer's nomination should be contingent upon completing the coal-miner legislation.

Lighthizer needs the House and Senate to pass a congressional waiver because he represented foreign governments in trade negotiations in 1985 and 1991.