By Ken Stone
Darrell Issa may not run for fellow Republican Duncan Hunter’s seat in Congress after all.
For that, you might thank the GOP-controlled Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Six days after Roll Call quoted the former 49th District congressman as saying he’ll run in Hunter’s 50th District if he’s not confirmed to a trade post by Nov. 3, Issa may be spared the decision.
He’s No. 3 on a list of Trump administration nominees to go before the Senate panel Thursday in Washington. (He’ll follow Marshall Billingslea and Adam Seth Boehler, Trump picks for jobs with the State Department and the U.S. International Development Finance Corp., respectively.)
Exactly a year after he was nominated to be director of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, Issa is set to be quizzed by senators about the job.
The session, chaired by Sen. James Risch of Idaho, starts at 9:30 a.m. and will be streamed on a Senate website. (After committee inspection, the entire Senate takes a final vote. The timeline for that isn’t clear.)
A week ago, Issa was quoted as saying: “Quite frankly, if I’m not confirmed by Nov. 3 [to the U.S. Trade and Development Agency], then I expect I’ll be a candidate for the congressional seat.”
If Issa doesn’t run, a half-dozen Republicans led by former radio host Carl DeMaio are expected to vie with 2018 runner-up Ammar Campa-Najjar, the Democrat, for the indicted congressman’s seat.
Issa hasn’t publicly said whether he’ll delay his Nov. 3 deadline if not confirmed, but a March 3 election looms and he’ll need to meet other candidate deadlines as well, such as Dec. 6 for filing for the seat.
According to Senate procedures, “A committee considering a nomination has four options. It can report the nomination to the Senate favorably, unfavorably, or without recommendation, or it can choose to take no action. It is more common for a committee to take no action on a nomination than to reject a nominee outright.”
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