Prospects for surgeon general nominee Dr. Henry W. Foster’s confirmation continued to appear uncertain Thursday as leading Republican senators disagreed over whether the issue should be put to the full Senate.
Sen. Nancy Kassebaum, R-Kan. - who heads the committee considering the nomination - said she believes Foster deserves consideration by the full Senate. But Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, R-Kan., indicated he would not budge from his threat to keep the nomination from a vote.
Kassebaum, chairwoman of the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee, predicted the nomination would survive the committee but acknowledged that Foster’s Senate opponents could tangle up the nomination for months.
Sen. Phil Gramm, R-Texas, who is vying with Dole for the GOP presidential nomination, also has threatened a filibuster.
Dole indicated Thursday in a letter to Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., that he has not changed his mind about preventing a vote.
Citing numerous past instances when Democrats had thwarted the choices of Republican presidents when Democrats controlled the Senate, Dole wrote: “”I do not recall many of my Democrat colleagues expressing the same level of concern about the disposition of these nominations as they are now expressing about the disposition of the Foster nomination.”