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Reid Gets New Five-year Term For 'his Guy' On The Nuclear Regulatory Commission

On Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) won a long-running battle with the nuclear-energy industry over the confirmation of Gregory Jaczko, a former Reid aide, for a full, five-year term at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Jaczko, whose term expires in June, was approved by the Senate on Thursday night/early Friday morning along with the nomination of Kristine Svinicki. a former Senate Armed Services Committee Republican staffer who was nominated by President Bush last April.

Reid had refused to move Svinicki's nomination for the NRC unless a full term was approved for Jaczko as well. The nuclear-energy industry has been working to derail Jaczko's nomination, since he is expected to oppose approval of Yucca Mountain as a permanent site for nuclear waste. Reid has vowed to block the Yucca Mountain project, which also opposed by Nevada Republicans.

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee approved the nominations in December, but Jaczko and Svinicki have languished for the last few months as Reid and White House dueled over dozens of executive-branch nominations, a game of political chicken that left some agencies, most notably the Federal Election Commission, unable to act.

So is the Jaczko-Svinicki confirmation a sign that a bigger deal is afoot between Reid and Bush over dozens of stalled nominations? We'll see. Reid's office did not have a comment by the time this item was ready to post, so I will update you when they do.