WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama’s nominee to lead the 2010 census has been approved by the Senate.

The confirmation Monday for Robert Groves, a veteran survey researcher at the University of Michigan, ends weeks of opposition by a pair of Republican senators.

Sixty votes in the 100-seat Senate were necessary for Groves’ approval after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., used a procedural motion to advance the stalled nomination.

Groves had been approved easily by a Senate committee in May. But Republican Sens. Richard Shelby of Alabama and David Vitter of Louisiana had blocked a full confirmation vote. They said they wanted more assurances that statistical sampling would not be used in the count.

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