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Richard Piatt ReportingGovernor Mike Leavitt is splitting his time between Utah and Washington DC these days. Leavitt is on his way to the Nation's Capitol to pay courtesy visits to US Senators who are involved in his EPA confirmation hearings.
Today the Governor is on a plane with a direct flight to Washington DC and straight into a much different political climate. The Governor rushed to the airport, the latest whirlwind trip for Mike Leavitt between Utah's Capitol and the Nation's Capitol. It's a schedule that has made long days reviewing policy, law and budgets even longer.
Governor Mike Leavitt: "I'm feeling the intensity of a lot to do right now."
The politics of a Senate confirmation adds to the pressure too, especially after Senator Hillary Clinton announced she's asking to put Leavitt's confirmation on 'hold'. Clinton says she wants information about why the Bush administration ordered the EPA to not release information about air quality at the World Trade Center site.
Today, Leavitt says the hold doesn't worry him.
Governor Mike Leavitt: "I’m following a road that many have trod before me. And this is an experience that plays out fairly similarly with everyone. And I have a feeling it'll all work out."
Meantime, Leavitt is reserving comments on that EPA related item, and about anything else, until his confirmation hearings.
Governor Mike Leavitt: "Members of the US senate who will now judge my fitness to serve and need to hear directly from me how I feel about certain issues, and not through the media."
The Governor plans to spend time visiting members of the Senate committee who will be involved in the confirmation process; he did that last week too. A date for those hearings has not been set yet.