The House gave final congressional approval Tuesday to a bill that would save the slow-paced Senate some time by eliminating the need for confirming nominees to some 170 executive branch jobs and 3,000 military officer positions.
The vote for this rare instance of streamlining Senate procedures was 261-116. The bill goes to the White House for President Barack Obama’s signature.
The bill also establishes a five-year term for the nation’s census director, to ensure that the position is separated from politics and the election-year calendar. In 2010, there was no director in place for that year’s census until months before the count started. In 1990, it was one week before the count. The position still would require Senate confirmation.
At the start of the Obama administration, there were 1,215 executive branch positions that required Senate confirmation. President John F. Kennedy, elected in 1960, had only 286 positions to fill but the number had jumped to 914 by the end of the Clinton administration in January 2001.
Among positions that will no longer need Senate approval are a chief scientist in the Commerce Department, directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service, the top press spokesmen for the Defense, Treasury and State departments, members of the Council of Economic Advisers, the commissioner of education statistics, the Homeland Security Department’s chief medical officer, director of the Labor Department’s Women’s Bureau and members of the Mississippi River Commission…
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See the final vote results here
Mark Levin was livid when he read that House Republicans had voted to eliminate the Senate confirmation process for the reported number of 169 presidential appointments. And the explanation he got from a couple of sources was that Romney had told Republicans to vote for it, so they did. Levin wonders if we are already going back to the days of George W. Bush when House and Senate members voted a certain way to support the president instead of the Constitution.
Listen to the Levin audio at The Right Scoop.