Obama, Fed Up With GOP Obstructionism, Makes 15 Recess Appointments
March 28, 2010
(ChattahBox)—With hundreds of White House appointments stalled in the Senate for months, with no end in sight, President Obama quietly made 15 recess appointments the day after Congress adjourned for an Easter recess. Obama filled two seats on the National Labor Relations Board that have been vacant for over a year and he made two high-level appointments to the Treasury Department.
Republican lawmakers condemned the recess appointments, but former President Bush also made 15 recess appointments at the same in his presidency, without the same toxic partisanship and obstructionism. During his entire two terms, Bush made more than 170 recess appointments and President Bill Clinton made nearly 140.
The two Treasury posts were held up for months, at a time of a severe recession noted Obama:
“The two top Treasury posts are for Jeffrey Goldstein, an executive at a New York private equity firm and a former managing director at the World Bank, for under secretary for domestic finance; and Michael Mundaca, a senior policy adviser at Treasury, for assistant secretary for tax policy.”
And added to the Labor Relations Board, are labor lawyers Craig Becker and Mark Pearce. The NLRB, a five-member board, has been limping along with just two members for two years.
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) blocked Becker’s nomination in the Senate, on the basis of his partisanship and he issued a statement condemning his recess appointment. “The U.S. Senate rejected this highly controversial and partisan nominee, and once again the administration showed that it had little respect for the time honored constitutional roles and procedures of Congress,” McCain said.
President Obama issues a statement after making the appointments:
“At a time of economic emergency, two top appointees to the Department of Treasury have been held up for nearly six months,” Obama said. “I simply cannot allow partisan politics to stand in the way of the basic functioning of government.”
There still remain an unprecedented 217 nominees pending before the Senate, including 34 that have languished in the upper chamber for more than six months.