March 28th, 2010
01:12 PM ET
12 years ago

Democrats, Republicans spar over Obama's recess appointments

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.

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soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Sarah L, Fayetteville, AR

    If they cared that much, they should have held a vote.

    March 28, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  2. Larry

    Obama is doing what any GREAT President would do

    If the Republicans don't want to be part of the decision making process in this great country, then our GREAT president will have to pick up the ball and carry the weight himself

    Great job Mr Obama, thank you soooooooo much for caring about this country and it's people

    March 28, 2010 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  3. CAW in MD

    Republicans have no room to complain. Bush made tons of recess appointments, including controversial figures. Is there no end to the sheer hypocrisy of how Republicans are conducting themselves as the minority party? The Democrats aren't any better.

    Something that could be done about this - stop the practice of anonymous holds on nominations. A little sunshine might be the best disinfectant for this particular practice. Then maybe recess appointments wouldn't be so common.

    March 28, 2010 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  4. Glen Shouse Jr.

    It wasn't long ago the republicans were criticizing the President for those positions not being filled yet while they were holding up the vote. The President has filled those positions. The republicans aren't the party of no, they are the party of double standards. Bush used this same authority over 170 times during his presidency.

    March 28, 2010 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  5. I am Newt Limebaugh

    You got to hand it to the GOP...their platform...divide...create fear.....mangle the NOTHING...have NO original ideas.......all this in the name of HELPING the US..

    What a joke!!!!!!

    When Bush did same thing...I did not see ONE single GOP person take a stand...what drivel....what hypocrisy exists from the GOP.

    These nutjobs still think they are in control

    March 28, 2010 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  6. Four and The Door

    Obama's arrogance is insulting to Americans who believe in our system of government. It would be a very different story if he had even a 50% success rate with the things he has done in this fashion. The fact is, the things he has done by brute force against strong opposition have been ineffective. Where are those 4 million jobs again?

    March 28, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  7. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    If Republicans won't participate in governing the country, then they should SHUT UP AND SIT DOWN.

    March 28, 2010 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  8. Ken in NC

    OK So the President has done what other Presidents have done. I'm sure Democrats cried foul when a Republican President so now Republicans are crying foul when a Democratic President does it. They all do it Republicans so stop crying like this is the first time a President has done recess appointments. Get over it. If you would try working with him you might get some things accomplished rather than trying to grind the government to a halt.

    We are not paying DEMS or REPUBs to go to Washington to act like children, getting mad because you can't have it your way so you take your marbles and go home. We are paying you to work together and that is why most, if not all of you are going to be replaced in November. Not to worry Senators, those of you not up for re-election now are safe until the next election. Not to worry, your turn will come.

    March 28, 2010 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  9. Emma

    Good for Obama. Why should the administration be crippled by the GOP?

    March 28, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  10. America Shrugged

    Senator McCain made a proclamation last week after HCR passed that the GOP would not work with Democrats the rest of the year. He basically gave the President permission to make these recess appointments. Nuff said. I"m sick of the " I'm going to take my ball and go home" party. They did nothing for the middle class American people the entire time they were in the majority ( you do the math ) except promise that the trickle down economy theory was good for us, that 2 wars, 2 massive tax cuts (passed through reconciliation) for the wealthiest, and medicare part D were for our own good ( none paid for ) and this is the result. Either help lead or get out of the way is what I say.

    March 28, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  11. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I don't see a problem with it. The Bush administration did it. Why can't Obama? It is unlikely that there will ever be a Senate that just rubber stamps people for the president. If it is legal within the constitution, then they have little right to complain.

    March 28, 2010 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  12. Bedtime for Obonzo

    Craig Becker - the proverbial fox in the henhouse.

    March 28, 2010 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  13. sensible Cape Coral Fl

    As the Republicans complain about the recess appointments, are they also prepared to take the blame for the necessity of these appointments. I don't know about anyone else but I am sick and tired of Republican hypocrisy.

    March 28, 2010 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  14. Jeanne

    I don't understand why they're blaming repubs, Dems have had a supermajority until Scott Brown. If the Dems wanted these people, they'd have been approved with their fillibuster proof majority.

    March 28, 2010 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |