McConnell to Propose Nominations Deal to Obama

Posted August 4, 2010 at 1:38pm

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) is expected Wednesday to offer President Barack Obama a proposal to move a series of noncontroversial executive branch nominations before the August recess.

McConnell and Obama, who rarely meet one-on-one, are holding a closed-door session Wednesday. A GOP leadership aide said McConnell’s proposal is not meant as a way to begin negotiations with Obama on nominations, but rather to lay out a specific list of the nominations Republicans would agree to.

The Senate often uses the last day before a recess to clear a backlog of executive branch nominations, almost always by unanimous consent.

According to GOP aides, during the last bipartisan, bicameral leadership meeting with Obama, the president and McConnell sharply disagreed on the issue of nominations. That prompted the White House to request today’s private meeting, Senate Republican aides said.

A senior GOP leadership aide said McConnell will also use the one-on-one meeting to press the president a number of other issues, including small-business legislation and the expiring Bush tax cuts.

“Republicans are significantly less concerned with the jobs of Washington bureaucrats than we are with the lack of jobs available for the American people. It is the intention of the Republican Leader to broaden the discussion beyond this Administration’s appointments,” the aide said.