From: Sarah Ruth/CNN
Subject: Senators pushing Weld hearings ask Helms for "honor and respect"
Ten senators say they want Chairman Jesse Helms of the Foreign Relations Committee to "reconsider" his position toward the nomination of William Weld to be ambassador to Mexico.
In a letter dated Sep. 10, the committee members called on Helms to allow the topic to be addressed in tomorrow's special committee meeting. Helms called the meeting at the request of the senators' formal request filed last Friday. The chairman, however, said the nomination would "not be on the agenda of this meeting."
The senators, led by Richard Lugar of Indiana, represent a majority of the committee and urged a hearing should be scheduled, "as soon as possible." They wrote: "Silencing a nominee without a hearing does not reflect well on our democratic process or on the Senate's reputation as a bastion of free and open debate."
The senators also outlined Rule 3(e) of the committee rules which reads: "Insofar as possible, proceedings of the Committee will be conducted without resort to the formalities of parliamentary procedure and with due regard for the view of all members." The senators urged Helms to "honor and respect" this rule and schedule a hearing.
The senators included: Joseph Biden (D-Del.), Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.), Gordon Smith (R-Ore.), Charles Robb (D-Va.), John Kerry (D-Mass.), Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), Paul Wellstone (D-Minn.), Paul Sarbanes (D-Md.), and Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.).
Weld himself was on Capitol Hill Thursday. The White House says Weld is meeting with Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Sen. John Chafee (R-R.I.).
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Thursday Sept. 11, 1997
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