More Problems With The Appointment Process
Delays in the appointment process — lengthened by Congressional brinksmanship and cumbersome vetting — are not new, and some choices have come quickly. On Friday, the president named Austan D. Goolsbee chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, filling a position that had just opened. But the confluence of vacancies in the economic realm comes at a time of regulatory transformation, a slowing economy and a Republican resurgence. (Mr. Goolsbee, who was previously confirmed as a member of the council, did not need a second Senate confirmation to become chairman.)
The prospect of Republicans making strong gains in Congress in November has complicated the appointment calculation, as nearly all of the unfilled jobs require Senate confirmation.
Unlike the judges (which I blame largely on the Republicans in the Senate), here there is plenty of blame to go around. Certainly, the Republican obstructionists are blocking more than their share of nominees. But the Obama Administration has also been very slow in sending nominees.
Finally there is a systemic problem. There is the fundamental question of why people take the jobs. After seeing what Van Jones and Shirley Sherrod went through, why would anyone want the jobs? Add the lengthy confirmation process to the possibility of humiliating publicity via the Internet and 24 hour news cycle, and you have the makings of a crisis in governance.Click here for reuse options!
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