Bush Appoints Van Tine

Bush Appoints Van Tine

Copyright 2003, Traffic World, Inc.

Unable to win Senate confirmation for his choice as deputy secretary of transportation, President Bush kept the unusually charged battle going by giving Kirk Van Tine a recess appointment that gives him the post on a temporary basis.

Van Tine, 55, will hold the No. 2 job at DOT as acting deputy secretary, a position he can hold for about 240 days before Bush must either submit Van Tine or a new nominee for Senate approval.

The appointment puts Van Tine in the office despite the sharp opposition of FedEx Corp., which launched an unusual public campaign against a nominee the express giant said was unsuited for the post. DOT responded with a stack of endorsements for Van Tine, but many large airlines also maintained a public silence on the White House choice.

Although approved by the Senate Commerce Committee, his nomination never went to the Senate floor.

As a recess appointee, Van Tine can stay in the position until the Senate votes on his nomination or until Bush selects someone else, which he is not expected to do.

Before adjourning, the Senate did approve the nominations of Assistant Transportation Secretary for Aviation and International Affairs Karan Bhatia and DOT General Counsel Jeffrey A. Rosen.