Up or Down Vote on Presidential Appointments

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The No Labels Action Plan to Change the Rules and Fix What's Broken

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2 Up or Down Vote on Presidential Appointments

The Problem

When our Founders gave the Senate "Advise and Consent" power over presidential appointments, they hoped it would encourage the president to appoint qualified people and avoid conflicts of interest.

Today, it's the senators themselves who seem to have conflicts of interest, with key presidential appointments routinely held up for trivial reasons or to serve the narrow interests of a single senator. In one notorious case from 2010, a senator held up over 70 presidential nominees at once to secure more federal spending for his state.

As of late 2011, more than 200 presidentially-appointed positions remained unfilled. In the last few years the directorship of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, key positions at the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve and numerous federal judgeships have been left unfilled for reasons that have little or nothing to do with the quality of the nominees.

The No Labels Solution

The Senate's "Advise and Consent" role on presidential appointments is critically important, but the process no longer resembles anything close to what the Founders intended.

That's why all presidential nominations should be confirmed or rejected within 90 days of the nomination being received by the Senate. This time frame includes both committee and floor action. If a nominee's name is not confirmed or rejected within 90 days, the nominee would be confirmed by default.

This proposal require a change of House and Senate rules, which can be made effective when the new Congress is seated in 2013.

BACK

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Problem Solvers

  • Andy Barr
  • John Barrow
  • Mark Begich
  • Ami  Bera
  • Sanford Bishop
  • Diane Black
  • Bruce Braley
  • Julia Brownley
  • Larry Bucshon
  • Cheri Bustos
  • Tony Cardenas
  • Robert P. Casey, Jr.
  • Joaquin Castro
  • David  Cicilline
  • Mike Coffman
  • Paul Cook
  • Jim Cooper
  • Jim Costa
  • Rodney Davis
  • John Delaney
  • Jeff Denham
  • Charlie Dent
  • Sean Duffy
  • Elizabeth Esty

From the Blog

  • July 26, 2014
    No Labels
    No Labels Co-Founder Bob Franken and No Labels New Hampshire State Director Steve Marchand discuss New Hampshire politics and speak with Roll Call's Matt Fuller about the ongoing border crisis.
  • July 19, 2014
    No Labels
    Sen. Evan Bayh and former Congressman Tom McMillen speak with Yoav Fromer of Tel Aviv University about the crisis in the Middle East and Kevin Diaz of the Houston Chronicle about the border crisis.

Meet the Co-Chairs