WASHINGTON - In sharp contrast with protests at a Senate building next door against George W. Bush's choice for attorney general, the President-elect's top picks to oversee the financial services industry were quietly embraced in confirmation hearings Wednesday.

Treasury Secretary-designate Paul H. O'Neill and Housing and Urban Development Secretary-designate Mel Martinez won praise from politicians on both sides of the aisle and appear poised to win easy confirmation from the Senate as early as next week.

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