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You know it's bad when uber-cautious Harry Reid is calling for Obama to recess apoint "all" of the nominees Republicans, with an assist from ConservaDems, are blocking.
Calling the holds “unfair,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) took to the Senate floor last night to give a withering attack of Republican obstructionism and urge Obama to recess appoint “all” of his blocked nominees:
REID: I mean it’s disgraceful. The Republicans are holding these people up for reasons that have nothing to do with their background, morality [or] competency of these people. … I think, frankly, the President should recess [appoint] all of them. All of them. He has been given very little recognition for the importance of the job that he has trying to find the best people in America to fill this position. No one can say Democrats did this when we were in the minority — we didn’t do this. There were people that were held up, but this something that is beyond the pale.
Indeed, one year into Obama’s term, 177 nominees remained unconfirmed — thanks to an “unusual number of holds” — including “dozens” of national security appointments. One year into President Bush’s term, there were only 70 appointees awaiting confirmation. Much of this obstructionism has been for political gain, such as Sen. Richard Shelby’s (R-AL) recent attempt to hold 70 nominees hostage for billions of dollars in pork for his state.
It's hard to see any other alternative to get these appoinments cleared. Some of those 170 nominees are for critical government functions in national security, trade, foreign policy, and basic government operations. Practically, the situation is untenable. Politically, it's hard to see a way to break Republican obstructionism than blasting through it. It's not as if it would really damage "bipartisan" relations--they can't get any worse.
Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 10:20 AM PST.