[Congressional Record: October 9, 2002 (Senate)]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
NOMINATION OF MAURA HARTY
Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, I rise today to place a hold on the
nomination of Ms. Maura Harty to be Director of the Office of Consular
Affairs within the Department of State. Ms. Harty was voted out of the
Committee on Foreign Relations today by voice vote. My reason for
placing a hold on this nomination is to hear from Ms. Harty regarding a
number of controversial cases that were under her jurisdiction as an
employee of the Office of Consular Affairs.
First, I am seeking to know more about cases of international child
abductions, which have left many parents frustrated with our
Government. Many parents do not believe that Ms. Harty, in her capacity
as the Managing Director of the Office of Overseas Citizens Services,
vigorously pursued the interest of American abducted children.
Second, I wish to convey my concerns about personal appearance waiver
programs, such as Visa Express. I am seeking assurance from the nominee
that visa issuing procedures will be improved, and future
recommendations from the inspector general will be seriously considered
by the Office of Consular Affairs.
Finally, I intend to question the nominee on allegations that she
fired an employee for blowing the whistle on a Foreign Service national
who committed visa fraud. I have been a longtime champion for
protecting the rights of those who shed light on the problems in our
Government, so I take these allegations very seriously and look forward
to hearing from Ms. Harty regarding this matter.
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