Boy, the attacks and push back from President Obama as well as his White House staff has been coming fast and furious of late. I think the light bulb has finally gone off that the only way to win a fight is to actually ENGAGE in a fight. This time its Dan Pfeiffer taking to the White House blog to point out more GOP obstructionism, this time on nominees to important governmental offices.
Nine months ago, the White House sent the nominee for GSA Administrator, Martha Johnson, to the Senate for its consideration. Today, she was finally given a vote and was overwhelmingly approved by a margin of 94-2. What happened in between was a perfect example of why Americans are so frustrated with Washington.
Martha Johnson is an ideal candidate for Administrator, which is highlighted by the unanimous vote she received in committee. And the only thing that's changed between now and then is that some in Congress found it to be politically expedient to delay her vote. This isn’t just about one person filling one job – it hampers our ability reform the way government works and save taxpayer dollars by making it more efficient and effective.
What’s worse, Martha Johnson is hardly the first nominee to fall victim to this trend of opposition for opposition’s sake. Nine of the President's nominees found themselves stuck in this same situation only to be confirmed by 70 or more votes or a voice vote. Several nominees, including two members of the Council of Economic Advisers, had cloture withdrawn and were passed by a voice vote.
Maybe votes on these nominations were delayed as a bargaining chip for someone's pet project – more likely it was part of a political strategy of opposition and obstruction at all costs. Whatever the reason, it's obvious from the margins of the final votes that it had little to do with their qualifications.
Not sure if there is a connection here, but President Obama JUST talked about Martha Johnson yesterday and how she was being held up by Republicans for no reason at all. At the least it should provide positive reinforcement that its the squeaky wheel that get's the oil. Perhaps if President Obama calls the Republicans out on more of his nominees that have been held up (cough Dawn Johnson at OLC cough) then they will ALSO get an up or down vote finally.
I swear man, after going through all the bullshit last year with the White House staying mostly silent and continuing to get their hand slapped when they reached out in "bipartisanship", I could certainly get used to this new, far more aggressive approach.