Ruth Marcuswrites today that President Obama's decision to install Donald Berwick by recess appointment was "outrageous." By her lights, a recess appointment is "the last step in cases of egregious delay," and Obama should have gone through the normal confirmation process before taking this option.
I think it's worth responding to Keith Hennessey's objection to President Obama's recess appointment of Donald Berwick:
In the past recess appointments have been used after an
actual filibuster. In this case the President is using a recess
appointment to avoid the threat of a potential filibuster. Doing so
also allows the nominee to avoid answering an uncomfortable question
about his foundation’s funding sources. It also allows the
Administration to duck a reprise of the health care reform debate four
months before Election Day.
The Washington Post'sDave Eggenreports on a renewed push by campaign-finance reformers to pass the Fair Elections Reform Act, which would expand public financing for congressional campaigns:
The Fair Elections Now Act, sponsored in the House by Rep. John B. Larson (D-Conn.) and Rep. Walter B. Jones (R-N.C.) and in the Senate by Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), would establish a voluntary system in which candidates would agree to accept only donations of $100 or less from contributors in their districts or states. After meeting a minimum amount of qualified contributions, they would get $400 in matching funds for every $100 raised.
Not to spend too much time on confirmations, but it really is stunning to think about how many people the Senate is responsible for confirming. The Washington Post's Al Kamenpoints out that there are still 43 Senate-confirmable jobs open in Cabinet-level agencies (out of a total of 369), and at Foreign Policy, Josh Rogin notes that there are more than 180 nominees awaiting action from the Senate.