Sen. Mary L. Landrieu (D-La.) is lifting the month-long “hold” she had placed on President Bush’s nominee to head the Army Corps of Engineers, Lt. Gen. Robert L. Van Antwerp, Jr. Landrieu's action, which came after a meeting with him April 30 in her Washington office, should clear the way for Van Antwerp's confirmation to the top Corps post in “a matter of days,” she told reporters.
Landrieu said Van Antwerp had met conditions she had set for her support: meeting with the state’s congressional delegation and local officials, and visiting New Orleans to see the area’s levee system in person.
Louisiana’s other senator, David Vitter (R), released his hold on Van Antwerp on April 27, after the nominee had appeared at an Environment and Public Works Committee hearing and responded to follow-up, written questions.
Landrieu said she isn’t aware of any other senator’s objecting to the general’s confirmation. Under Senate procedures, any of its members can block a floor vote by issuing a hold.
“This was never personal and it never was political. It was just a way to use the power that I have to make sure that this general got down in Louisiana and ‘kicked the tires’ and looked at the levees that had breached. And most importantly, talked to the people whose homes and lands and businesses were ruined because of the failure of the Corps of Engineers.” She said Van Antwerp also “will be an honest, reliable partner to our transformation efforts."