The Democrat Senate shows disrespect for the advise-and-consent responsibilities of the U.S. Senate and for the American people by failing to follow through with those responsibilities and give nominees an up or down vote. Refusing to hold hearings and refusing to vote is shameful and childish behavior.
In a flurry of nominations and appointments, [President] Bush also named a researcher at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank in Washington, as deputy director of the Social Security Administration. Andrew G. Biggs has been an outspoken proponent of converting Social Security benefits into self-directed retirement accounts, which Bush favors but Democrats have stopped cold. Bush nominated Biggs to that post in November, but the process stalled in February when the Senate Finance Committee refused to hold confirmation hearings because of his views on privatization.
[Susan Dudley's] nomination [as director of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at OMB] stalled because the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, which held the hearing, didn't vote on it.
Dudley was unavailable for comment Wednesday, as were leading senators on the committee. But Leslie Phillips, the committee's communications director, criticized Bush for making an end run.
The recess appointment, she said, "shows disrespect for the advise-and-consent responsibilities of the U.S. Senate and for the American people, on whose behalf the president acts. The power to recess appoint should not be used to avoid any scrutiny of presidential nominees."
No wonder Congress has the lowest approval rating of any branch of government.