Obstruction as a Political Strategy

As we’ve noted on this blog before, many in the Senate have spent a remarkable amount of time and energy blocking well-qualified nominees to important Administration posts in an effort to score political points.  Well, today we learn from Senate leaders that there are nearly 100 nominees waiting to get their final up-or-down vote on the Senate floor.  That’s 16 times the number of nominees that were awaiting final confirmation at this point in George W. Bush’s presidency.  And all told, there are 228 nominees currently pending in the Senate confirmation process.  This extraordinary level of obstruction has caused a substantial backlog on the Senate Calendar; it’s long past time for Senate Republicans to live up to their responsibilities to vote on these nominees so they can get to work on behalf of the American people.

To put this in perspective, at this point in George W. Bush's presidency, there were just 6 nominees on the Senate Calendar. We have 96 waiting for a final confirmation vote, including nominees to fill critical positions at the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice and the National Transportation Safety Board, and dozens of judges at the district court and appellate court level.

It is time for Senators to stop abusing their responsibility to provide advice and consent on these well-qualified nominees. The American people expect action from their public servants, and Senate Republicans should stop putting partisan gamesmanship ahead of their responsibility to serve the American people. 

Below is a list of President Obama’s nominees currently awaiting a final floor vote in the Senate:

Rafael Borras, who has been nominated to be Under Secretary for Management, has been pending on the Senate floor for 26 weeks.

Warren Miller Jr., who has been nominated to be Director of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management, has been pending on the Senate floor for 26 weeks.

John Sullivan, who has been nominated to be Commissioner, Federal Election Commission, has been pending on the Senate floor for 26 weeks.

Julie Reiskin, who has been nominated to be Board Member, Legal Services Commission, has been pending on the Senate floor for 26 weeks.

Gloria Valencia-Weber, who has been nominated to be Board Member, Legal Services Commission, has been pending on the Senate floor for 26 weeks.

Brian Hayes, who has been nominated to be Member, National Labor Relations Board, has been pending on the Senate floor for 26 weeks.

Mark Pearce, who has been nominated to be Member, National Labor Relations Board, has been pending on the Senate floor for 26 weeks.

Winslow Sargeant, who has been nominated to be Chief Counsel of Advocacy, has been pending on the Senate floor for 26 weeks.

Benjamin Tucker, who has been nominated to be Deputy Director for State, Local, and Tribal Affairs, has been pending on the Senate floor for 24 weeks.

Jane Stranch, who has been nominated to be Judge, Court of Appeals (6th Cir), has been pending on the Senate floor for 24 weeks.

Albert DiClemente, who has been nominated to be Member, AMTRAK Board of Directors, has been pending on the Senate floor for 22 weeks.

Anthony Coscia, who has been nominated to be Member, AMTRAK Board of Directors, has been pending on the Senate floor for 22 weeks.

John Laub, who has been nominated to be Director, National Institute of Justice, has been pending on the Senate floor for 22 weeks.

Philip Coyle, who has been nominated to be Associate Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (National Security and International Affairs), has been pending on the Senate floor for 22 weeks.

Mark Rosekind, who has been nominated to be Member, National Transit Safety Board, has been pending on the Senate floor for 22 weeks.

Jacqueline Berrien, who has been nominated to be Chairman, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, has been pending on the Senate floor for 21 weeks.

Chai Feldblum, who has been nominated to be Commissioner, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, has been pending on the Senate floor for 21 weeks.

Patrick Lopez, who has been nominated to be General Counsel, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, has been pending on the Senate floor for 21 weeks.

Victoria Lipnic, who has been nominated to be Member, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, has been pending on the Senate floor for 21 weeks.

Eric Hirschhorn, who has been nominated to be Under Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration (head of Bureau of Industry and Security), has been pending on the Senate floor for 20 weeks.

Jill Long Thompson, who has been nominated to be Member of the Farm Credit Administration, Board of Directors, has been pending on the Senate floor for 20 weeks.

Steven Jacques, who has been nominated to be Assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban Development for Public Affairs, has been pending on the Senate floor for 20 weeks.

Islam Siddiqui, who has been nominated to be Chief Agricultural Negotiator, Office of the United States Trade Representative, has been pending on the Senate floor for 19 weeks.

Michael Punke, who has been nominated to be Deputy Trade Representative - Geneva, has been pending on the Senate floor for 19 weeks.

Jim Esquea, who has been nominated to be Assistant Secretary for Legislation, has been pending on the Senate floor for 19 weeks.

Michael Mundaca, who has been nominated to be Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy, has been pending on the Senate floor for 19 weeks.

Albert Diaz, who has been nominated to be US Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit, has been pending on the Senate floor for 14 weeks.

James Wynn, who has been nominated to be US Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit, has been pending on the Senate floor for 14 weeks.

Mary Smith, who has been nominated to be Assistant Attorney General, Tax, has been pending on the Senate floor for 13 weeks.

Craig Becker, who has been nominated to be Member, National Labor Relations Board, has been pending on the Senate floor for 13 weeks.

Edward Chen, who has been nominated to be District Judge - California N, has been pending on the Senate floor for 13 weeks.

Louis Butler, who has been nominated to be Judge-Dist, has been pending on the Senate floor for 13 weeks.

James Lynch, who has been nominated to be Director, Bureau of Justice Statistics, has been pending on the Senate floor for 12 weeks.

Benita Pearson, who has been nominated to be District Judge, Northern District of Ohio, has been pending on the Senate floor for 12 weeks.

Timothy Black, who has been nominated to be Judge - Ohio, Southern District, has been pending on the Senate floor for 12 weeks.

Judith Stock, who has been nominated to be Assistant Secretary of State (Educational and Cultural Affairs), has been pending on the Senate floor for 10 weeks.

Patricia Hoffman, who has been nominated to be Assistant Secretary, Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, has been pending on the Senate floor for 9 weeks.

Arthur Elkins, Jr., who has been nominated to be Inspector General, has been pending on the Senate floor for 9 weeks.

Barbara Haskew, who has been nominated to be Member, Board of Directors of the Tennessee Valley Authority, has been pending on the Senate floor for 9 weeks.

Neil McBride, who has been nominated to be Member, Board of Directors of the Tennessee Valley Authority, has been pending on the Senate floor for 9 weeks.

William Sansom, who has been nominated to be Member, Board of Directors of the Tennessee Valley Authority, has been pending on the Senate floor for 9 weeks.

Marilyn Brown, who has been nominated to be Member, Board of Directors of the Tennessee Valley Authority, has been pending on the Senate floor for 9 weeks.

Lucy Koh, who has been nominated to be Judge - California N, has been pending on the Senate floor for 9 weeks.

Jon DeGuilio, who has been nominated to be Judge - Indiana N, has been pending on the Senate floor for 9 weeks.

Tanya Pratt, who has been nominated to be Judge - Indiana S, has been pending on the Senate floor for 9 weeks.

Audrey Fleissig, who has been nominated to be Judge - Missouri E, has been pending on the Senate floor for 9 weeks.

Ari Ne'eman, who has been nominated to be Member, National Council on Disability, has been pending on the Senate floor for 8 weeks.

Jane Magnus-Stinson, who has been nominated to be Judge - Indiana S, has been pending on the Senate floor for 8 weeks.

David Matsuda, who has been nominated to be Administrator of the Maritime Administration, has been pending on the Senate floor for 7 weeks.

Michael Huerta, who has been nominated to be Deputy Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), has been pending on the Senate floor for 7 weeks.

Brian Jackson, who has been nominated to be District Judge - Louisiana M, has been pending on the Senate floor for 7 weeks.

Josephine Tucker, who has been nominated to be Judge - California C, has been pending on the Senate floor for 7 weeks.

Marc Treadwell, who has been nominated to be Judge - Georgia M, has been pending on the Senate floor for 7 weeks.

Elizabeth Foote, who has been nominated to be Judge - Louisiana W, has been pending on the Senate floor for 7 weeks.

Mark Goldsmith, who has been nominated to be Judge - Michigan E, has been pending on the Senate floor for 7 weeks.

Jeffrey Moreland, who has been nominated to be Member, AMTRAK Board of Directors, has been pending on the Senate floor for 6 weeks.

Daryl Boness, who has been nominated to be Chairman, Marine Mammal Commission, has been pending on the Senate floor for 6 weeks.

Michael Tillman, who has been nominated to be Member, Marine Mammal Commission, has been pending on the Senate floor for 6 weeks.

Earl Weener, who has been nominated to be Member, National Transit Safety Board, has been pending on the Senate floor for 6 weeks.

Walter Isaacson, who has been nominated to be Chair, Broadcasting Board of Governors, has been pending on the Senate floor for 3 weeks.

Victor Ashe, who has been nominated to be Member, Broadcasting Board of Governors, has been pending on the Senate floor for 3 weeks.

Michael Lynton, who has been nominated to be Member, Broadcasting Board of Governors, has been pending on the Senate floor for 3 weeks.

Susan McCue, who has been nominated to be Member, Broadcasting Board of Governors, has been pending on the Senate floor for 3 weeks.

Dennis Mulhaupt, who has been nominated to be Member, Broadcasting Board of Governors, has been pending on the Senate floor for 3 weeks.

S. Enders Wimbush, who has been nominated to be Member, Broadcasting Board of Governors, has been pending on the Senate floor for 3 weeks.

Bisa Williams, who has been nominated to be Chief of Mission, Republic of Niger, has been pending on the Senate floor for 3 weeks.

Robert Ford, who has been nominated to be Chief of Mission, Syrian Arab Republic, has been pending on the Senate floor for 3 weeks.

Raul Yzaguirre, who has been nominated to be Chief of Mission, Dominican Republic, has been pending on the Senate floor for 3 weeks.

Theodore Sedgwick, who has been nominated to be Chief of Mission, the Slovak Republic, has been pending on the Senate floor for 3 weeks.

Lana Pollack, who has been nominated to be Commissioner, International Joint Commission, United States and Canada, has been pending on the Senate floor for 3 weeks.

Elizabeth Littlefield, who has been nominated to be President, Overseas Private Investment Corporation, has been pending on the Senate floor for 3 weeks.

Carolyn Radelet, who has been nominated to be Deputy Director, Peace Corps, has been pending on the Senate floor for 3 weeks.

William Martinez, who has been nominated to be Judge - Colorado, has been pending on the Senate floor for 3 weeks.

Sharon Coleman, who has been nominated to be Judge - Illinois N, has been pending on the Senate floor for 3 weeks.

Gary Feinerman, who has been nominated to be Judge - Illinois N, has been pending on the Senate floor for 3 weeks.

Mari Aponte, who has been nominated to be Chief of Mission, Republic of El Salvador, has been pending on the Senate floor for 1 week.

Dana Bilyeu, who has been nominated to be Member of the Board of Directors of the Federal Retirement Thrift and Investment Board, has been pending on the Senate floor for 1 week.

Michael Kennedy, who has been nominated to be Member of the Board of Directors of the Federal Retirement Thrift and Investment Board, has been pending on the Senate floor for 1 week.

Dennis Walsh, who has been nominated to be Chairman, Special Panel on Appeals, has been pending on the Senate floor for 1 week.

Milton Lee, who has been nominated to be Associate Judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, has been pending on the Senate floor for 1 week.

Todd Edelman, who has been nominated to be Associate Judge, D.C. Superior Court, has been pending on the Senate floor for 1 week.

Judith Smith, who has been nominated to be Associate Judge, D.C. Superior Court, has been pending on the Senate floor for 1 week.

Jonathan Hatfield, who has been nominated to be Inspector General, has been pending on the Senate floor for 1 day.

Katherine Hammack, who has been nominated to be Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations & Environment, has been pending on the Senate floor for 1 day.

Elizabeth McGrath, who has been nominated to be Deputy Chief Management Officer, has been pending on the Senate floor for 1 day.

Sharon Burke, who has been nominated to be Director of Operational Energy Plans and Programs, has been pending on the Senate floor for 1 day.

Solomon Watson IV, who has been nominated to be General Counsel of the Army, has been pending on the Senate floor for 1 day.

Michael McCord, who has been nominated to be Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), has been pending on the Senate floor for 1 day.

Eduardo Ochoa, who has been nominated to be Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education., has been pending on the Senate floor for 1 day.

Donald Cook, who has been nominated to be Deputy Administrator for Defense Programs, has been pending on the Senate floor for 1 day.

James Taylor, who has been nominated to be Chief Financial Officer, has been pending on the Senate floor for 1 day.

Carla Hayden, who has been nominated to be Member, National Museum and Library Services Board (Library), has been pending on the Senate floor for 1 day.

Dorvell Tabb, who has been nominated to be Member, National Museum and Library Services Board (Library), has been pending on the Senate floor for 1 day.

Robert Wedgeworth, who has been nominated to be Member, National Museum and Library Services Board (Library), has been pending on the Senate floor for 1 day.

John Coppola, who has been nominated to be Member, National Museum and Library Services Board (Museum), has been pending on the Senate floor for 1 day.

Lawrence Pijeaux, Jr., who has been nominated to be Member, National Museum and Library Services Board (Museum), has been pending on the Senate floor for 1 day.

Dan Pfeiffer is White House Communications Director

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