Although all eyes are on Hillary Clinton's confirmation hearing for Secretary of State, Obama has a number of appointees in the hot seat today. If you wanted a preview of the administration that's coming next week, listening to testimony about his nominees plans is a great place to start. Below is a list of whose up today for grilling and where to find information on what they are discussing. Check out the slideshow on the nominees at the end of the entry:
Steven Chu for Energy Secretary:AP Reports:
Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Chu promised Tuesday that if confirmed as energy secretary he will aggressively pursue policies aimed at addressing climate change and achieving greater energy independence by developing clean energy sources.
But he also told lawmakers that he views nuclear power and coal as critical parts of the nation's energy mix and said he was optimistic that ways can be found to make coal a cleaner energy source by capturing its carbon dioxide emissions.
Arne Duncan for Education Secretary: Politico Reports:
With Republican friends like these, Arne Duncan should have no problem selling Barack Obama's education agenda to Congress.
"I think you're the best," Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) told Duncan this morning during the confirmation hearing for the next Education secretary. Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) engaged in the love fest too: "This is a guy who gets it."
Duncan, the Chicago public schools chief, spent two hours before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on Tuesday morning. If the hearing is an indication, his nomination will cruise in the Senate.
Shaun Donovan for Housing Secretary: Business Week Reports:
President-elect Barack Obama's nominee for housing secretary pledged Tuesday to mount a more aggressive response to the foreclosure crisis as he prepares to take the helm of an agency under fire for being slow to react to the housing bubble.
Shaun Donovan, the 42-year-old commissioner of New York City's Department of Housing Preservation and Development, has received acclaim for his leadership of an effort to add 165,000 reasonably priced homes to New York's ultra-expensive housing stock by 2013.
Peter Orszag for Director of White House Office of Management and Budget: Reuters Reports:
President-elect Barack Obama's incoming budget director warned on Tuesday that even after the U.S. economy recovers, the budget gap will still be around 5 percent of gross domestic product for up to a decade.
Peter Orszag, Obama's nominee to head the White House Office of Management and Budget, said that the driver of the long-term budget deficits was rising health care costs, but he pledged the new administration would work to wrestle them under control.
Energy Secretary-designate Steven Chu have arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 13,2009, to testify before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on his nomination.
Budget Director-designate Peter Orszag testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2009, before the Senate Budget Committee hearing on his nomination.
Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., left, talks with Education Secretary-designate Arne Duncan on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2009, prior to the start of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on Duncan's nomination.
Housing and Urban Development Secretary-designate Shaun Donovan, shakes hands with Sen. Robert Bennett, R-Utah, right, as Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., left, and Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala.look on prior to the start of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee hearing on Donovan's nomination.