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[Congressional Record: October 9, 2002 (Senate)]
[Page S10220]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access []

                       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.