Washington (CNN) – President Obama threatened Tuesday to use his power to bypass Congress and make appointments to key positions in his administration if Senate Republicans do not allow votes on their nominations.
Obama said he asked GOP leaders during a meeting at the White House "to put a stop to these holds in which nominees for critical jobs are denied a vote for months."
"If the Senate does not act, and I made this very clear, if the Senate does not act to confirm these nominees, I will consider making several recess appointments during the upcoming recess," Obama said. "Because we can't afford to allow politics to stand in the way of a well-functioning government."
The Senate is scheduled to be in recess next week.
While not mentioning him by name, Obama criticized Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Alabama, for putting a hold on all of his nominees as leverage to help his state.
"One senator, as you all are aware, had put a hold on every single nominee that we had put forward, due to a dispute over a couple of earmarks in his state," Obama said.
Shelby has since released his hold on almost all of the nominees.