"The advice and consent of the Senate is not a guarantee, and ALG is pleased that the Senate has put the brakes on these nominations."
– ALG President Bill Wilson
January 5th, 2009, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson today thanked the U.S. Senate for blocking 10 controversial nominations made by Barack Obama that Wilson had urged members to reject.
"The advice and consent of the Senate is not a guarantee, and ALG is pleased that the Senate has put the brakes on these nominations," said Wilson, adding, "The fact that the Democrat caucus has 60 members, which ought to be filibuster-proof, and still cannot get Obama's nominees approved demonstrates just how poor these nominations really are."
Wilson had sent a letter expressing reservations against the nominees on December 10th. According to Wilson's letter, "All of these appointments have serious flaws and raise deep concerns about the competence and commitment of the individual to the fundamental principles on which our nation was founded."
Enclosed with the letter, ALG included backgrounds on each of the appointments:
Clifford L. Stanley, Nominee for
Undersecretary of Defense for
Personnel and Readiness
M. Patricia Smith, Nominee for
Solicitor of Labor
Chai Feldblum, Nominee for
Commissioner on the Equal
Jacqueline A. Berrien, Nominee
to be Chairman of the Equal
James A. Wynn, Nominee for
Judge on the U.S. Court of
Appeals for the 4th Circuit
Christopher Schroeder, Nominee
for Assistant Attorney General for
the Office of Legal Policy
Craig Becker, Nominee to be
Member of the National Labor
Mark G. Pearce, Nominee to be
Member of the National Labor
Dawn Elizabeth Johnsen,
Nominee for Assistant Attorney
General for the
Office of Legal Counsel
Louis B. Butler, Nominee for
Judge on the U.S. District Court
for the Western District of
Today, Americans for Limited Government released a background on the state of Barack Obama's appointments, which found that only 56.8 percent, or 293 out of 516 nominees requiring Senate confirmation had been confirmed in 2009.
According to the background, "Not only did the Senate not confirm any of the ten, four of the nominations were returned to the President due to the session ending. These four are as follows: Dawn Johnsen, nominee to be Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel; Christopher Schroeder, nominee to be Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Policy; Craig Becker, nominee to the National Labor Relations Board; and Louis Butler, nominee to be District Judge for the Western District of Wisconsin."
The background states that in order for those four nominees to be confirmed, Obama would have to officially renominate them.
The background also found that "Only 13 total judicial nominees were confirmed. This is the smallest number since the Eisenhower Administration," when 12 were confirmed. "In 2009, nine district, three circuit and one Supreme Court nominee were confirmed."
Wilson said that "in addition to fielding poor candidates for these positions, the Senate has been so distracted with taking over the nation's health care system that it has not gotten around to staffing the government."
"Instead, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has been depending upon unanimous consent resolutions to confirm nominees," Wilson explained, concluding, "Such consent which has not been given, meaning that there would need to be up-or-down votes on each of the nominees."
"Which, when the Obama Administration appoints such controversial individuals to key positions in government, a debate and official vote is necessary and appropriate so that constituents may hold their Senators accountable," Wilson concluded.