Obama Signals No Recess Appointments Next Week

Posted February 11, 2010 at 9:26pm

President Barack Obama signaled Thursday night that he will not use next week’s Congressional recess to bypass the Senate confirmation process and appoint long-stalled nominees.

Obama called it “a good first step” that Republicans allowed 27 of his high-level nominees to be approved earlier Thursday; many had been awaiting a vote for months.

Republicans’ willingness to release holds on the nominees comes two days after Obama had a heated exchanged with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) over what he called GOP obstructionism for political reasons.

“At the beginning of the week, a staggering 63 nominees had been stalled in the Senate because one or more senators placed a hold on their nomination. In most cases, these holds have had nothing to do with the nominee’s qualifications or even political views, and these nominees have already received broad, bipartisan support in the committee process,” Obama said in a statement.

The president warned that while he is “gratified” that Republican Senators released some of his nominees, there are still dozens on hold — and he won’t hesitate to use his authority to use recess appointments the next time around if nothing changes.

“I will be looking for action from the Senate when it returns from recess. If they do not act, I reserve the right to use my recess appointment authority in the future,” Obama said.