In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Obama To McConnell: Stop The Obstruction!


According to Politico, Obama was "forceful" with McConnell, saying in the meeting: "If you don't move any, I'm going to do some [recess] appointments."

In his statement, Obama thanked the Senate for tonight confirming 27 of his high-level nominees after a lengthy delay, but said there remain dozens of nominees pending and he reserves the right to use the recess appointments down the line.

The White House has signaled for the last few weeks that Obama and the Democratic party would take a harder line calling out Republican obstructionism.

Read the president's statement in full below.

Today, the United States Senate confirmed 27 of my high-level nominees, many of whom had been awaiting a vote for months.

At the beginning of the week, a staggering 63 nominees had been stalled in the Senate because one or more senators placed a hold on their nomination. In most cases, these holds have had nothing to do with the nominee's qualifications or even political views, and these nominees have already received broad, bipartisan support in the committee process.

Instead, many holds were motivated by a desire to leverage projects for a Senator's state or simply to frustrate progress. It is precisely these kinds of tactics that enrage the American people.

And so on Tuesday, I told Senator McConnell that if Republican senators did not release these holds, I would exercise my authority to fill critically-needed positions in the federal government temporarily through the use of recess appointments. This is a rare but not unprecedented step that many other presidents have taken. Since that meeting, I am gratified that Republican senators have responded by releasing many of these holds and allowing 29 nominees to receive a vote in the Senate.

While this is a good first step, there are still dozens of nominees on hold who deserve a similar vote, and I will be looking for action from the Senate when it returns from recess. If they do not act, I reserve the right to use my recess appointment authority in the future.

Late Update: Senate Republicans think the White House is putting some spin on the story.