Campus Notebook: Forever Acting

Posted May 1, 2009 at 6:38pm

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) has reintroduced a bill to give Congress more control over the selection of the Architect of the Capitol, a position that has remained vacant for more than two years.

[IMGCAP(1)]Architect Alan Hantman left in 2007, handing the agency over to acting Architect Stephen Ayers. But the process of permanently replacing Hantman has stalled, with no resolution in sight.

As it stands now, a Congressional committee recommends a list of candidates for the position and the president decides on one nominee. Wasserman Schultz’s bill would hand over the entire process to Congress, with House and Senate leaders presiding over the appointment.

When Wasserman Schultz introduced an identical bill in July, Democrats and Republicans in the House were supportive, calling the process archaic and broken.

But the Senate has been less receptive — the current process allows the Senate alone to confirm the president’s selection. Wasserman Schultz’s bill would shift some of that power to the House.

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