President Barack Obama on Wednesday blamed Republicans for holding up his nominees for political gain.
“We have a huge backlog of folks who are unanimously viewed as well-qualified, nobody has a specific objection, but end up having a hold on them because of some completely unrelated piece of business,” Obama told Senate Democrats at their annual retreat at the Newseum.
“We have to start highlighting the fact that this is not how we should be doing business,” Obama added.
Obama’s comments came in response to a question by Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who complained about GOP holds on judicial nominees. He asked the president to help move the process along.
The president pointed to the amount of time it took for the Senate to confirm David Hamilton to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and took issue with how long it has taken the Senate to approve nomination of Martha Johnson to serve as administrator of the General Services Administration. The Senate is set to confirm her nomination this week.
“I don’t have a GSA administrator even though I nominated someone well-qualified several months ago, and no one can tell me what’s wrong with her,” Obama said before issuing a plea to Republicans: “Let’s have a fight about real stuff. Don’t hold this woman hostage.”