Senate withdraws vote on Colvin to lead Social Security
By By John Fritze
The Baltimore Sun|
Dec 14, 2014 | 9:18 AM
Hours after they passed a $1 trillion government spending bill, Senate Democratic leaders withdrew a scheduled vote this week on President Barack Obama's nominee to lead the Social Security Administration -- a move that appeared to derail her chances for confirmation.
Carolyn W. Colvin -- an Odenton resident with a long history at the independent, Woodlawn-based agency -- had faced late opposition from Republicans over a faulty, $300 million computer system. Colvin has served as acting commissioner since early 2013.
Despite concerns about an ongoing inspector general investigation into the system, Democrats scheduled a vote on Monday for Colvin along with several other long-stalled Obama nominees. Without comment, the Senate removed Colvin from the queue late Saturday.
The move came just hours after Democrats resurrected her chances amid negotiations over government funding, moving to close debate on her confirmation.
Some Democrats, including Maryland Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, have defended Colvin. But Republicans, led by Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, have called for allowing the inspector general to finish its work before voting.
Obama nominated Colvin in June for a six-year term that would carry into the next presidential administration.
The agency and its senior leaders are under scrutiny amid revelations it spent nearly $300 million and six years developing a faulty computer system to speed the processing of disability claims. Auditors have said the program has been able to handle only about 700 out of millions of claims.
A Morgan State University graduate, Colvin joined Social Security as a clerk in 1963. She became deputy commissioner for programs and policy in 1996 and deputy commissioner of operations in 1998. Colvin also served as Maryland's secretary of human resources from 1989 to 1994 under Gov. William Donald Schaefer.