Washington (CNN) - A Republican-led effort to block President Barack Obama's nominations for top federal jobs made it necessary for the 15 recess appointments announced by the White House, Obama's senior adviser said in an interview broadcast Sunday.
"The Republican Party has taken a position where they're going to try and slow and block progress on all fronts, whether it's legislation or appointments," David Axelrod told the CNN program "State of the Union."
Axelrod noted that the previous administration had fewer appointees awaiting Senate confirmation at the same point after taking power.
"We have 77 appointees who have not gotten the (Senate) vote because they have been held up by the Republican Party," Axelrod said. "Some of them are in very sensitive positions – Treasury, Homeland Security, and boards like the Labor Relations Board . . . where there are a huge number of vacancies."
Much of the controversy over Obama's decision to use his authority to make recess appointments focused on Craig Becker, a union lawyer nominated to the National Labor Relations Board.