The White House is scrambling for a new nominee to lead the Air Force after President Clinton's choice was rejected by a Senate panel as the wrong man at the wrong time.

Deeply divided, the members of the Senate Armed Services Committee quashed Daryl Jones' chances to become the Air Force's top civilian on Wednesday. They acted after testimony from witnesses that Jones had been grounded as a reserve fighter pilot and then lied about it.Clinton said he was "deeply disappointed" by the development and that Jones was "a good, decent, able man."

Asked about prospects for a new nominee, White House spokesman Mike McCurry told reporters, "We will now have to consult with our supporters and determine how to proceed."