Senate Environmentalist Holds Up Key Science Appointments over Cuba

Itâ''s really just a curiosity but does provide a glimpse of how things work. Talking Points Memo, the liberal news and blogging operation, has a story this week saying that New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez, an advocate of action to address climate change, is threatening to hold up two key Obama appointments over unrelated Cuba policy. Though a solid liberal, Menendez takes a hard line on Cuba and is troubled by some provisions in the presidentâ''s spending bill that could signal a softening of policy toward the post-Fidel Castro regime. As a result, heâ''s threatening to put a temporary block on Senate action to confirm Obamaâ''s science adviser and the appointee to become head of NOAAâ''along with Steven Chu, Obamaâ''s energy secretary, they are the two most eminent people nominated for top presidential positions.

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