July 7th, 2010
08:05 PM ET
4 years ago

Baucus criticizes Obama for recess appointment

'I'm troubled that, rather than going through the standard nomination process, Dr. Berwick was recess appointed,' Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus said in a statement.
'I'm troubled that, rather than going through the standard nomination process, Dr. Berwick was recess appointed,' Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus said in a statement.

(CNN) – Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus is the first Democrat to express displeasure with President Obama's recess appointment of Dr. Donald Berwick to head the agency overseeing Medicare and Medicaid.

"I'm troubled that, rather than going through the standard nomination process, Dr. Berwick was recess appointed. Senate confirmation of presidential appointees is an essential process prescribed by the Constitution that serves as a check on executive power and protects Montanans and all Americans by ensuring that crucial questions are asked of the nominee – and answered," the Montana senator said in a statement.

Baucus went on to state that he looked forward to working with the agency on health care reform's implementation "despite the recess appointment."

Listen: CNN Radio's Lisa Desjardins takes a look at the decision.


– CNN Congressional Producer Ted Barrett contributed to this report.


Filed under: Max Baucus
soundoff (131 Responses)
  1. katiec

    And how many positions are still open because the republicans refuse to give approval?? He should take it further and appoint all those he needs.
    They say no to everything even positions that need to be filled.
    They are a disgrace to our political system and our country.

    July 7, 2010 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  2. larry

    I wish this guy would have remained on Gilligan's Island with his wife, Lovey.

    July 7, 2010 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  3. GL

    Baucus the turn coat at it again. Wasn't he the one that was against heath care reform.

    July 7, 2010 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  4. GL

    All you senate members play too many games.

    July 7, 2010 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  5. GL

    The Senate have too many clowns that only look out of their best interest only and Baucus is one of them.

    July 7, 2010 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  6. diridi

    just stupid....

    July 7, 2010 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  7. Celeste

    Chairman Max Baucus should shut up! Bush did recess appointments and so did every other President. When will you Democrats learn to stick to together? The President is saving money and time. Now just shut up and do your job! Everyone wants a minute in the lime lights and a piece of the President's but at our expense. Process this Max Baucus! DO YOUR JOB!

    July 7, 2010 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  8. db

    Did anyone really expect "Chicago" Barack Obama to change the culture in Washington? Well, yes, maybe for the worse.

    July 7, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  9. Stephen in Bedford, TX

    As obsessed as the GOP is in blocking anything the President Obama wants I'm glad he made a recess appointment.
    The recovery act and the healtcare bill would be much better if they were not so watered down because of republicans bawling, lying and exaggerating the laws effectiveness.
    If we want to see change some people need to get on board.

    July 7, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    BTW, since you're sure to see some out-of-context chopped-up quotes of Berwick from some of the GOPers, who are literally reaching behind themselves, crapping into their fists and getting ready to fling, here is the whole quote from which they are likely to come (from a Politico article):

    "I fell in love with the NHS," Berwick said in a 2008 speech of the system that he had worked on since the 1990s. "To an American observer, the NHS is such a seductress. ... Like any lover, it took me a while to see the blemishes of my beloved, though I soon had help from people quite willing to point out the warts."

    In other words, he stated he liked the British system because it provides universal coverage, etc. (obvious things that nobody would disagree with), but he has EXPLICITLY STATED that he recognizes the British system has problems. He's not out to ration your health care...the insurance industry is. It did precisely that for half a century and it took the government coupling a mandate that we purchase it with subsidies for doing so to force the insurance industry to open its doors a wee bit wider. It still rations your health care BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT INSURANCE DOES BY ITS VERY NATURE. Don't be fooled by rhetoric about dictatorial behavior either. This was 100% necessary because the GOP would have obstructed ANYONE nominated in an effort to hamper implementation of the HCR Bill so they could later claim "oh look how it's floundering...told you so!"

    July 7, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  11. Greg Smith

    It it important to get people into the positions to do the job and with the way that republicans filibuster nominees it makes getting the work done almost impossible. President Obama is doing what it takes to get the job done.

    July 7, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  12. Pete in Guilford

    I am glad to see Obama finally grow a backbone and through using a perfectly legal move, not allow the GOP to stall his agenda and American progress any longer.

    July 7, 2010 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  13. Luke Brown

    Baucus would be right, except the Senate has been taking way too long to confirm Obama's nominees for key jobs. The President's intention to appoint Berwick has been out there for a long while.

    If Baucus wanted to ask questions on behalf of "Montanans and all Americans", he had plenty of time to do so.

    July 7, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  14. kravitz

    If congress would actually get things done for the country rather than ponder the lint in their navels, Obama wouldn't have to act like congress doesn't exist. Because for the rest of us, congress is a bunch of self-absorbed crybabies, exempified by Baucus' whining.

    July 7, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  15. Larry

    Oh Please !!!

    Get over yourself Baucus ...

    July 7, 2010 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  16. howie

    Senator, join the rest of us who are surprised at the actions of Obama. Most americans are surprised at most of things he has done since he became president.

    July 7, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  17. Big Ed

    Did it bother him when "W" did it? Can't have it both ways, Mr. Baucus!

    July 7, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  18. Dean

    Berwick fits right in with Obama's plan to change America to a European suburb. He loves the health care plan of England and believes in healthcare rationing expecially for older people.
    I hope you Obama supporters like the change you got. He makes Bush look open and honest.

    July 7, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  19. Ivan

    Well then call for a voteand if the Republicans want to filibuster then make them physically stand up and filibuster not just say they will.

    July 7, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  20. Dan, TX

    So why didn't you schedule a hearing for his appointment?

    July 7, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  21. Lawrence

    There is no way that the Senate would maturely approach the confirmation process of any Obama candidate (except Patraeus). Their sole mission is to obstruct any President Obama agenda. They will never think about the common good. They just want Obama out. This is the party of family values, who obstruct any initiative that helps families who not in their economic class. Max Baucus sounds naive and silly.

    July 7, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  22. slipthalo

    Senate confirmation of presidential appointees is no more than another stall tactic for the GOP these days. Seems like Baucus is upset they'll run out of stall tactics?

    July 7, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  23. Gil

    Baucus, where were you over the years when the
    Texas bushwacker did the same thing, but by the hundreds? Repuglican fools!

    July 7, 2010 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  24. billybob 'n NC

    Re-pub in disguise. Max, I hear your tea boiling!

    July 7, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  25. ran

    I hope this guy does not get reelected. He is not a true Democrat and was against the public option because it went against the for profit health care money he gets from them. He needs to go.

    July 7, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
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