Group of Senators push to shield more Obama appointees from confirmation 

Presidential appointments are one way the White House can impose its agenda on the nation without having to actually  pass legislation.  Once confirmed, political appointees can operate relatively under the radar, making new rules that have widespread implications but aren't well known out of the small community of people who follow these issues carefully. Now, a group of Senators is pushing to eliminate the confirmation process for 200 of these positions -- removing the one check on them.

The Associated Press reports:

Under the plan, some 200 executive nominations made by the president would no longer go through what can be a time-consuming and politically divisive confirmation system. It would also exempt some 3,000 military officer corps positions from Senate approval.

The plan was put together by Rules Committee Chairman Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., the committee’s top Republican Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and the heads of the House Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., and Susan Collins, R-Maine.

Don Todd of Americans for Limited Government, a conservative group that has closely tracked Obama's nominees, is concerned about the proposal. "With the Administration’s record of recess appointments and other methods of going around the confirmation process this is no time to reward them with less oversight," he said in an email.

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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