The US Senate finally confirmed East Bay Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher to a top State Department post, according to the Chron. Tauscher is to become a lead adviser to President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on arms control issues. Her nomination reportedly had been held up by Republican Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona, who was unhappy about the Obama administration's plans with Russia to reduce both countries nuclear weapons' arsenals. Tauscher's confirmation sets in motion a special election to fill her seat in the US House of Representatives. Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi and state Senator Mark DeSaulnier are the leading candidates to replace her.