Threat From Obama Prompts GOP Senators to Approve Nominees

The Senate confirmed 27 Obama nominees yesterday after the president threatened to make appointments during the Senate’s upcoming recess.

On Tuesday, during a bipartisan meeting with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), Obama announced that he would consider making appointments during the Senate’s recess if Congress didn’t act quickly. The Senate starts its recess on Monday.

After his nominees were confirmed, Obama said in a statement, “At the beginning of the week, a staggering 63 nominees had been stalled in the Senate because one or more senators placed a hold on their nomination. In most cases, these holds have had nothing to do with the nominees’ qualifications or even political views, and these nominees have already received broad, bipartisan support in the committee process.

“Instead, many holds were motivated by a desire to leverage projects for a senator’s state or simply to frustrate progress. It is precisely these kinds of tactics that enrage the American people.”

Obama said that he told Sen. McConnell that if Republican senators didn’t release holds, he would use his authority to fill critically needed positions in the federal government temporarily through the use of recess appointments.

“Since that meeting, I am gratified that Republican senators have responded by releasing many of these holds and allowing 29 nominees to receive a vote in the Senate,” Obama said.

There are still many nominees on hold who deserve a similar vote, Obama said, adding that he will be “looking for action from the Senate when it returns from recess.”