Louisiana senators have put “holds” on the nomination of Lt. Gen. Robert L. Van Antwerp to head the Army Corps of Engineers. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) announced her move on April 3. Sen. David Vitter (R) had “kind of quietly” issued a hold in mid-March, an aide says. The Armed Services Committee cleared Van Antwerp’s nomination on March 15, but the Louisianians’ holds are delaying floor action.
Landrieu says there was no dispute about Van Antwerp’s credentials to be chief of engineers, but she wants to be assured that the nominee and the Bush administration “are ready to get serious about reforming the Army Corps’ bureaucracy.” Vitter says the Environment and Public Works Committee also will hold a hearing on Van Antwerp’s nomination.