President Barack Obama sent the Senate his nomination of Donald Berwick as administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Monday — a move that comes two weeks after Obama bypassed Congress to put his stalled nominee in the post until the end of 2011.
Obama’s effort to clear Berwick through the Senate on top of his recess appointment would grant his nominee the job indefinitely, as he would serve at “the pleasure of the president,” according to a White House aide. Obama typically resubmits nominations for his recess appointments.
The president originally nominated Berwick to the CMS post in April, but he used a recess appointment to install Berwick earlier this month after accusing Republicans of trying to stall the nomination.
Republicans have tied the nomination to their criticism of the health care overhaul and have retaliated over the recess appointment. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said the appointment illustrated the president’s attempt to “arrogantly circumvent the American people.”