Byline: Audrey Hudson
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is opposing the nomination of Mary Gall as chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, despite her appointment to the commission by President Clinton.
Miss Gall was first nominated to the commission by President George Bush in 1991, and renominated by Mr. Clinton in 1999 for a seven-year term. President Bush nominated her in April to head the commission.
"I have expressed my concerns about her record on the commission, and I think it would not be a good decision to elevate her to the chairmanship since the chairman sets the agenda for the commission," Mrs. Clinton told The Washington Times.
Mrs. Clinton said she did not find it awkward to oppose one of her husband's nominees, saying Miss Gall was "part of a deal."
"She was always the Republicans' nominee, and it was part of large deal with a lot of people, and she wasn't being nominated to be the chairman. And I don't think that would have occurred in the prior administration. She was usually outvoted, thankfully," Mrs. Clinton said.
Republicans discussed the opposition at their weekly policy lunch yesterday in preparation for today's Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee nomination hearing for Miss Gall.
"It appears Democrats are launching an all-out effort to defeat her, but maybe it will misfire," said Sen. Larry E. Craig, Idaho Republican, after the meeting.
Opponents of Miss Gall criticize her 10-year record on the commission and her votes against particular safety regulations.
They say she blames parents rather than products for child injuries.
The particular votes Mrs. Clinton and other Democratic critics point to occurred before Miss Gall was renominated by Mr. Clinton and are part of the public record.
"Those concerns were not raised when she was nominated by Mr. Clinton. I'm sorry it escaped his attention," said Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican and ranking member of the commerce committee.
Mr. McCain, who labels Miss Gall as "pro-consumer," supports her nomination. "I believe the president should have the right to select his team unless there is an overriding reason not to," he said. …