The House of Representatives approved S. 679 legislation on Tuesday, a bill that reduces the number of executive positions subject to Senate confirmation. Decreasing the number of executive positions to come in front of the Senate for confirmation is one of the most important proposals in No Labels' Make The Presidency Work! action plan.
“Important positions will be filled faster, government agencies will be more capable of offering valuable services to their constituents, and the overall confirmation process will be more efficient,” said Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
Lieberman partnered with senators Susan Collins (R-Maine), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), and Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) to lead the effort to pass the legislation in June 2011, following an agreement by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
“The Senate's confirmation process of executive nominations has become increasingly overburdened,” said No Labels Co-Founder William Galston, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Governance Studies Program. “The appointments of far too many well-qualified and experienced nominees have been stalled due to congressional gridlock, and, as a result, important positions have gone unfilled.”
Another presidential appointment reform proposal outlined in No Labels' Make The Presidency Work! action plan calls for an up or down vote on all presidential nominations after 90 days.