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Obama Announces Nominees to Fill Key Positions After Months of Senate Obstruction

11_obama_lgAfter facing months of obstruction to administration nominees, President Barack Obama last week announced his intent to appoint 15 nominees to fill key positions, including vacancies on the economic teams and on boards that have been left vacant for months.

“Most of the men and women whose appointments I am announcing today were approved by Senate committees months ago, yet still await a vote of the Senate,” Obama said Saturday. “At a time of economic emergency, two top appointees to the Department of Treasury have been held up for nearly six months. I simply cannot allow partisan politics to stand in the way of the basic functioning of government.”

The appointees have faced an unprecedented level of obstruction in the Senate. Obama currently has a total of 217 nominees pending before the Senate. These nominees have been pending for an average of 101 days, including 34 nominees pending for more than six months. The 15 nominees Obama intends to recess appoint have been pending for an average of 214 days or seven months for a total of 3,204 days or almost 9 years.

The 15 administration nominees include:

  • Jeffrey Goldstein, nominee for under secretary for domestic finance at the Department of the Treasury;
  • Michael F. Mundaca, nominee for assistant secretary for tax policy at the Department of the Treasury;
  • Eric Hirschhorn, nominee for under secretary of commerce for export administration and head of the Bureau of Industry and Security, Department of Commerce;
  • Michael Punke, nominee for deputy trade representative – Geneva, Office of the United States Trade Representative;
  • Francisco “Frank” J. Sánchez, nominee for under secretary for international trade, Department of Commerce;
  • Islam A. Siddiqui, nominee for chief agricultural negotiator, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative;
  • Alan D. Bersin, nominee for commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security;
  • Jill Long Thompson, nominee for member, Farm Credit Administration Board;
  • Rafael Borras, nominee for under secretary for management, Department of Homeland Security;
  • Craig Becker, nominee for board member, National Labor Relations Board;
  • Mark Pearce, nominee for board member, National Labor Relations Board;
  • Jacqueline A. Berrien, nominee for chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission;
  • Chai R. Feldblum, nominee for Commissioner, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission;
  • Victoria A. Lipnic, nominee for commissioner, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission;
  • P. David Lopez, nominee for general counsel, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

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