Obama expected to send nominations back
As soon as Monday, President Obama will likely renominate most or all of the 13 stalled nominees the Senate sent back to the White House last month, including Federal Reserve Board nominee Peter Diamond and five judges Republicans oppose, according to White House and Senate aides.
Other officials in that group include CMS Administrator Donald Berwick and National Labor Relations Board member Craig Becker. Obama this year gave both men recess appointments, but the White House is formally seeking Senate confirmation so they would receive full terms, despite pitched GOP opposition.
Goodwin Liu, a Berkley Law professor nominated for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and John McConnell, a nominee for a Rhode Island District Court, will be among judges renominated Monday, according to a White House aide and Senate staffers. Republicans say that Liu is outside the legal mainstream, and they call McConnell a Democratic fundraiser who is too partisan for a judgeship.
Renominating the officials is necessary for their confirmation because Republicans refused to agree to a unanimous consent agreement on Aug. 5 that would have kept them pending on the Senate calendar. Their rejection came amid last-minute bargaining over nominations before the recess that also allowed confirmation of more than 50 stalled nominees.
The nominees would need approval from relevant Senate committees for a second time to return to the Senate calendar.
White House officials had already said the president would renominate the five judges as well as Diamond, an MIT professor who faces opposition from Senate Banking Committee ranking member Richard Shelby, R-Ala. But Obama can only officially renominate them once the Senate returns Monday and can "receive" the nominations, Senate aides said. A Senate aide said Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., was expected to act swiftly after the chamber convenes at 2:30 p.m.
Other officials expected to be nominated include Mary Smith as assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department's tax division; Jeffrey Goldstein as the Treasury Department's undersecretary for domestic finance; and Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Alan Bersin.