John D. Hawke Jr.'s confirmation as comptroller of the currency appears to be back on track.
On Thursday a spokesman for Sen. Strom Thurmond said the lawmaker was satisfied with the Treasury Department's progress on an unrelated issue and was prepared to release the "hold" he put on Mr. Hawke's confirmation Sept. 29. The hold effectively prevented the Senate from voting on the appointment.
The South Carolina Republican was angry with Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. Summers for his agency's policy of letting some vineyards make positive health claims on their wine labels. Years ago, Sen. Thurmond's eldest daughter was killed by a drunken driver. But the senator's spokesman said a meeting Tuesday between the lawmaker's staff and Treasury officials convinced him the agency was making progress on the issue.
"The senator has no objection to Mr. Hawke. By all accounts, he is more than capable," the spokesman said. "Unfortunately, when Treasury won't work with you, you have to resort to certain tactics. This is not the way the senator likes to do things normally."
It is not clear when the Senate will vote on Mr. Hawke's confirmation. Technically, lawmakers could now vote on it as early as this week, provided no other lawmakers put a hold on it. But as of Thursday a date had not been set, according to a staff member for Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss. -- Scott Barancik