La. Sen. Vitter lifting hold on federal nominee

By the Associated Press | June 1, 2011 | 6:43 PM EDT

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — U.S. Sen. David Vitter says he will release his hold on Dan Ashe, the president's nominee to head the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The Louisiana Republican said Wednesday that he made the move after the U.S. Department of the Interior issued its 15th deepwater petroleum exploration well permit, following the end of the deepwater moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Fish and Wildlife Service falls under the Interior Department.

Vitter put a hold on Ashe's nomination on Feb. 15.