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Bush Bypasses Senate on 2 More Nominees
New York Times ^ | Saturday, January 12, 2002 | CHRISTOPHER MARQUIS

Posted on 01/12/2002 5:35:07 AM PST by JohnHuang2

January 12, 2002

Bush Bypasses Senate on 2 More Nominees

By CHRISTOPHER MARQUIS

WASHINGTON, Jan. 11 — Seeking to end a months-long stalemate, President Bush used a backdoor procedure to appoint two nominees to high-ranking positions in the State and Labor Departments today after they had failed to win Senate approval.

Over the objections of some Senate Democrats, Mr. Bush appointed Otto J. Reich as assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs and Eugene Scalia as Labor Department solicitor.

The president's action could complicate his relations with the Senate, where Senator Tom Daschle, who is the majority leader, and a handful of other top Democrats adamantly objected to the nominations.

Mr. Bush filled the positions under a procedure known as a recess appointment. The Constitution authorizes the president to fill vacant positions when the Senate is in recess, as it is now. The appointees may serve without confirmation until the end of the Congressional session at the end of the year; a majority of senators can remove them at any time.

A White House spokeswoman, Anne Womack, said today that Senate Democrats had forced the president's hand by refusing to grant a confirmation hearing to Mr. Reich and blocking a full Senate vote for Mr. Scalia, whose nomination was approved in committee.

"Both nominations have been sitting in the Senate for months," Ms. Womack said. "They're both critical nominations for this administration. By failing to act, the Senate gave the president no other option but to exercise his Constitutional right to appoint them by recess appointment."

Mr. Daschle issued a statement calling Mr. Bush's action "regrettable."

He said that the nomination of Mr. Scalia, who is the son of Justice Antonin Scalia of the Supreme Court, eventually would have come up for a vote by the full Senate. White House officials disputed that today.

"We also said it appeared that Mr. Scalia's record of hostility toward worker protections would have made his confirmation unlikely," Mr. Daschle said.

Turning to the status of Mr. Reich, he added: "Senators on both sides of the aisle had also raised questions about Mr. Reich's nomination based on his record, both in government and in the private sector."

Mr. Reich's nomination to become the top American diplomat for the Western Hemisphere drew strong opposition from a group of senators led by Senator Christopher J. Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat who is chairman of the foreign relations subcommittee on Latin America. The standoff threatened to revive the fractious debates over Central America policy between Congress and the Reagan White House two decades ago.

In the mid-1980's, Mr. Reich led a covert program to generate public support in the United States for the anti-Sandinista rebels, or contras, in Nicaragua. As the Iran-contra affair became known, a government investigation concluded that Mr. Reich's office had engaged in prohibited acts of domestic propaganda. Mr. Reich's defenders have denounced the inquiry as flawed and note that no charges were filed against him.

Mr. Reich went on to serve as ambassador to Venezuela. More recently, he has worked as a consultant and lobbyist for companies with a variety of interests in Latin America. Mr. Reich, who was born in Cuba, has also been an outspoken critic of President Fidel Castro.

Senator Dodd raised concerns that Mr. Reich's business ties and political agenda left him unqualified for the post and with a "a tin ear when it comes to ethical considerations."

Mr. Dodd suggested that Mr. Reich's appointment could jeopardize the administration's efforts to forge a bipartisan approach to regional issues of free trade, drug- trafficking and immigration.

But supporters of Mr. Reich said his knowledge of Latin America and the Washington bureaucracy made him amply qualified to handle a region that Mr. Bush has declared a foreign policy priority. His appointment was greeted with special enthusiasm by Cuban-Americans, an important constituency for the Bush administration.

Mr. Scalia, who will occupy the Labor Department's third highest position and serve as the secretary's legal adviser, found himself in the cross hairs of organized labor because of his opposition to some worker protection initiatives.

He once denounced as "quackery" and "junk science" a Clinton administration regulation on ergonomics designed to reduce injuries due to repetitive motion; the Bush administration repealed it in March.

John J. Sweeney, the president of the A.F.L.-C.I.O., called Mr. Scalia's appointment "a slap in the face of American workers."

Senator Edward M. Kennedy, the Massachusetts Democrat who heads the committee on labor, said he regretted the president's move.

As the department's solicitor, Mr. Scalia, a Washington lawyer, will oversee about 180 laws affecting safety and health in the workplace, workers' compensation, minimum wage guarantees and job training.



TOPICS: News/Current Events
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Quote of the Day by hflynn
1 posted on 01/12/2002 5:35:07 AM PST by JohnHuang2
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To: JohnHuang2
Yet Scalia was Voted out of Sen Kennedy's Committee
2 posted on 01/12/2002 5:37:51 AM PST by scooby321
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To: scooby321
Exactly........
3 posted on 01/12/2002 5:39:46 AM PST by JohnHuang2
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To: JohnHuang2
Mr. Daschle issued a statement calling Mr. Bush's action "regrettable."

But, was tiny tom "disappointed"???

The blatant bias in this hit piece has me chewing on my desk.

The good news? It's in SATURDAY'S paper. Old news by Monday. A modified play from the clintbilly play book.

4 posted on 01/12/2002 5:42:00 AM PST by mombonn
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To: JohnHuang2
It's good to see Bush in hardball mode, and campaign mode again, too.

I wish he had not slobbered all over Ted Kennedy last week, but I guess it's all part if the game.

5 posted on 01/12/2002 5:43:01 AM PST by veronica
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To: JohnHuang2
The president's action could complicate his relations with the Senate, where Senator Tom Daschle, who is the majority leader, and a handful of other top Democrats adamantly objected to the nominations.

I'd like to know just exactly how much worse this relationship could get with "Lil' Tommy Dasch-hole" in charge. Outside of a fistfight, ol' "small hands and small feet makes for a mean disposition" Dasch-hole has made it clear he intends to bring all Bush attempts to save the country to a complete halt.

Small wonder that over 50% of the American public views the Democrats as trying to ruin the economy and hurt the American people in favor of party politics.

One must wonder just who's politics this involves since their current equation tends to eliminate any potential properity for the American people in the near future.

One thing is clear. Tom "Despite the size it's perfectly functional" Dasch-hole isn't on the side of America. Actions making such a statement of the intent from an internal enemy have never been made more clear.

6 posted on 01/12/2002 5:45:15 AM PST by Caipirabob
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To: JohnHuang2
"The president's action could complicate his relations with the Senate, where Senator Tom Daschle, who is the majority leader, and a handful of other top Democrats adamantly objected to the nominations."

. . .definitely time for Bush to complicate his 'relationship' with this power-wielding gnat. . .hope for the best of complications. . .

7 posted on 01/12/2002 5:49:26 AM PST by cricket
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To: cricket
. . .definitely time for Bush to complicate his 'relationship' with this power-wielding gnat. . .hope for the best of complications. . .

I agree. If I were W, I'd ostracize the little twerp just as he did to Arafat a few weeks ago, and get on with the business at hand. And like a gnat, take a swat at him once in a while. Maybe W could send in a big-assed dragonfly like Dick Cheney to send Tommy to his room until he behaves.

8 posted on 01/12/2002 5:59:08 AM PST by Cobra64
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To: JohnHuang2
The president's action could complicate his relations with the Senate

Au contraire, this clarifies the relationship, you play hardball, I play hardball.
Tommy just got a heater under the chin.

9 posted on 01/12/2002 6:02:34 AM PST by Semper Paratus
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To: JohnHuang2
"We also said it appeared that Mr. Scalia's record of hostility toward worker protections would have made his confirmation unlikely," Mr. Daschle said.

Buzz. Puffy D. is again playing fast and loose with facts. If it is true that Scalia would not have been confirmed, Daschle would have brough it up for a vote in a second, to embarass Bush. In truth, Scalia would have been easily confirmed. Daschle was just seeking to appease the far leftists who hate SCOTUS Justice Antonin Scalia.

10 posted on 01/12/2002 6:03:29 AM PST by randita
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To: veronica
Bush gives a little to appease the Democrat whiners; then he slam-dunks them with actions like he did with these 2 appointments.
11 posted on 01/12/2002 6:03:57 AM PST by 3catsanadog
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To: JohnHuang2
President Bush used a backdoor procedure to appoint two nominees . . . .

"Backdoor"? That word implies that the procedure was both secret and illicit. It was neither. The president acted in public, not in secret; and he has authority under the Constitution to do what he did (as even the author admits).

I wonder if the New York Times ever used "backdoor" to describe any of Bill Clinton's recess appointments.

12 posted on 01/12/2002 6:06:07 AM PST by Logophile
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To: Yakboy
I'd like to know just exactly how much worse this relationship could get with "Lil' Tommy Dasch-hole" in charge.

That's exactly what I thought when I read the article. He has really shown his hand in the past couple months. I think he's going to be mighty surprised come election time. The American people are tired of the players in D.C... and the politicians haven't fully realized the impact 9/11 has had on our country in the way that we're paying attention more to what went wrong and we're taking names.

13 posted on 01/12/2002 6:08:20 AM PST by LaineyDee
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To: cricket
"The president's action could complicate his relations with the Senate, where Senator Tom Daschle, who is the majority leader, and a handful of other top Democrats adamantly objected to the nominations."

Dontcha just LOVE the Times??? ROFLMAO ... hehehehe. Get serious, Times wackos! Daschle had just better worry about not complicating HIS relations with the President.

14 posted on 01/12/2002 6:09:25 AM PST by STARWISE
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To: STARWISE
"Mr. Daschle issued a statement calling Mr. Bush's action "regrettable." ... Oh jeeze!!! I can't believe he didn't say he was "disappointed." ;-( Poor Little Tommy ... he didn't get his way, and he's just gonna have to moan and groan some more.
15 posted on 01/12/2002 6:12:22 AM PST by STARWISE
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To: JohnHuang2
Mr. Scalia, who will occupy the Labor Department's third highest position and serve as the secretary's legal adviser, found himself in the cross hairs of organized labor because of his opposition to some worker protection initiatives.

Mr. Scalia, who will occupy the Labor Department's third highest position and serve as the secretary's legal adviser, found himself in the cross hairs of organized labor because of his father.

16 posted on 01/12/2002 6:18:17 AM PST by Aeronaut
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To: JohnHuang2
a majority of senators can remove them at any time.

Following this comment, I reread the Constitution. I find no place where this is listed as a power of the Senate, unless they're talking about some kind of impeachment process.

Perhaps an interpretation is that the vote can go to the full Senate and if the recess appointee is then voted down by a majority, that then requires his removal from the appointment. I see no necessity for that to be the case. It says simply that they President has the power to fill "all vacancies" when the Senate is in recess. These expire at the end of the next session. Even then, nothing prevents the president from reappointing them.

17 posted on 01/12/2002 6:19:33 AM PST by xzins
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To: STARWISE
"The president's action could complicate his relations with the Senate, where Senator Tom Daschle, who is the majority leader, and a handful of other top Democrats adamantly objected to the nominations."

I think the NYT is quite clear here: if one senator (Daschle) and a handful of others (that's 5+1=6) oppose a nomination, then the President should fold up and walk away from the fight. A potential 94-6 vote in the Senate would just "complicate" things.

18 posted on 01/12/2002 6:23:31 AM PST by ClearCase_guy
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To: scooby321
I think that the Constitution should be changed. If the Senate does not act on a Presidential appointment within one year (an up or down vote) the appointment is considered confirmed.

If the Senate has the votes to defeat an appointment then do it and get on with another person. This game playing is just over payed public servants playing political games with the people's business.

19 posted on 01/12/2002 6:38:57 AM PST by Ironsman
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To: cricket
Add Chris Dodd to the list.
20 posted on 01/12/2002 6:47:05 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: mombonn
And buried under Enron, which is much ado about nothing (until one gets to the Clintons, that is), which is a desperation play by the Democrats that is going to backfire.

Did you see he pulled $34 million of money from aid to China for population control efforts (read: forced abortions)? The legislation passed set a maximum dollar amount but not a minimum, and Bush said "I appreciate the flexibility they put into the legislation" and put the whole amount on hold? lol

21 posted on 01/12/2002 7:01:00 AM PST by Hugh Akston
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To: JohnHuang2
Seeking to end a months-long stalemate, President Bush used a backdoor procedure to appoint two nominees to high-ranking positions in the State and Labor Departments today after they had failed to win Senate approval.

What's in bold is the bald-faced lie in this article, of course. Neither Scalia nor Reich failed to win Senate approval. Neither had an opportunity to get Senate approval because the Senate wouldn't schedule a vote.

All it seems that the NYT is doing right now is removing the letterhead from the DNC press releases. Makes it a lot easier, I s'pose.

22 posted on 01/12/2002 7:15:56 AM PST by Mark de New Brighton
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To: Eric in the Ozarks
Add Chris Dodd to the list.

You have to admit it's pretty funny to see Chris Dodd questioning the ethics of ANYBODY else. Especially when you consider his Senator father was paying him 20+ grand per year for a "no-show" job while he was in college.

23 posted on 01/12/2002 8:52:57 AM PST by sneakypete
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To: randita
Scalia was politically incorrect on the "repetitive motion stress" article of faith required by the democrats' union bosses. This was to be the vehicle for unionization of workers with computers, an area where unions have had no success organizing. Extensive studies have shown it to be nonsense, yet the unions had hoped to have the government lend some credence to the matter.
24 posted on 01/12/2002 10:57:27 AM PST by thucydides
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To: veronica
I think Bush is engaging in strategic calculation when he acts nice towards Kennedy. It plays well to undecideds to see him "reaching out", it's still pretty disgusting to watch though.
25 posted on 01/12/2002 11:06:29 AM PST by Brett66
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To: Brett66
It got buried in the next to last and back page of the L.A Slimes here. The front page led with a slam by the paper's liberal political analyst Ronald Brownstein of how damaging the Enron (he conveniently omitted mention that the Rats hands are even deeper in the mess) non-affair is to the Bush Administration's image by citing how it shows the President's closeness to corporate and energy interests at the expense of the little guy. It must frustrate the liberal media the recess appointments angle bombed so they're hoping against hope that somehow may be Enron will stick. That's what Brownstein is hoping will happen. So if any one thinks the press's animus towards this Preident disappeared with Sept. 11th better think again. They're just getting started and will stop at nothing to help the Rats bring him down.
26 posted on 01/12/2002 11:16:38 AM PST by goldstategop
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