Republicans vow to block Bryson for commerce secretary position

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US President Barack Obama names John Bryson (R) as his nominee for Secretary of Commerce during the announcement in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC, May 31, 2011. Bryson, former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Edison International, replaces outgoing Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke, who Obama recently appointed as US Ambassador to China.

A San Marino-based former utility executive President Obama has nominated to be the next Commerce Secretary faces more opposition to his appointment Tuesday.

Oklahoma's senior U.S. Senator, Republican James Inhofe, says he'll put a stranglehold on John Bryson's bid to run the federal Department of Commerce.

Bryson has faced growing opposition since the President named him for the job last month. But while other Republican lawmakers have pledged to block Bryson over Obama's trade agreement policies, Inhofe objects to the nominee because of his track record.

Bryson helped establish the Natural Resources Defense Council more than 40 years ago. Inhofe says that makes him a radical environmentalist, even though Bryson's later job running the utility Edison International put him in conflict at times with that group.

The senator - a climate change skeptic - also criticizes Bryson for supporting a national effort to cap carbon emissions and trade them as a way to curb global warming. Serious talks about that policy at the federal level sputtered out a year and a half ago.

Inhofe wants the President to withdraw Bryson's nomination.

The White House says it's standing behind its choice.

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