Is It Really Just A "Hiccup"?

(AP Photo/Ian Barrett)
Revelations that Timothy Geithner failed to pay $34,000 in taxes and employed a housekeeper whose permit to work in the United States had expired are "little hiccups" in the process of confirming President-elect Barack Obama's designee for Treasury Secretary, says Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

"That's basically what they are," Reid said Tuesday. "I am not concerned at all."

Nonetheless, some Senate Republicans say it's too early to say if Geithner's errors are nothing to worry about, and intend to question him at his confirmation hearing, reports CBS News correspondent Chip Reid.

The Senate Finance committee late this afternoon released Geithner's tax documents, along with a joint statement from Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus and ranking Republican Charles E. Grassley.

Click here to read Geithner's tax documents
The Associated Press reports that Grassley hasn't conceded to the chairman's request for a speedy hearing and confirmation.

An aide to Grassley said the Senator believes the revelations are "serious, and whether or not it's disqualifying is to be determined."

But in a sign that the Senate isn't divided along party lines on the issue of Geithner's "hiccup", Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, who also serves on the Finance Committee, told Fox News he continues to support the nominee.

"I have no problem," Hatch said. "He's a very, very competent guy."

Based on the scuttlebutt surrounding Geithner on Capitol Hill, Reid reports that the popular choice to lead the Internal Revenue Service, may face tough questions during his confirmation hearing, but will not likely be forced to withdraw from consideration.

"Senators really like him," Reid reports. "He's very popular, he's highly respected. Most of them would really like to have him in the job, Republicans and Democrats. But some Republicans say they're a little worried.

"This is the man who will be overseeing the IRS, after all and if this is a sign of sloppiness, that's not a quality you want in somebody who's going to be overseeing a trillion dollars in spending. At this point, though, it doesn't look like it's going to block his confirmation."
  • Adam Hutton

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