Kirk Approval as Trade Rep Expected

Senate voting this afternoon

The Senate is expected to approve former Dallas mayor Ron Kirk's nomination to be the next U.S. trade representative.

The full Senate is expected to follow the approval of the Senate Finance Committee which voted in favor of Kirk Thursday morning.

Kirk's confirmation hit a bump last week when it was revealed that he, like some others nominated by President Barack Obama, had a problem with underpaid taxes. But Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus declared the tax trouble an honest mistake, and endorsed Kirk as the best man for the job.

As trade representative, Kirk must find a balance between business and farm groups supporting an expansion of free trade agreements and union and consumer groups who say past agreements have cost American jobs.

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