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Senate sends 13 nominations back to White House

Nominees, including Medicare chief and Customs and Border Protection commissioner, will have to be sent to the Hill again.

The Senate Thursday night confirmed more than 50 executive nominations by unanimous consent, but it "returned" 13 nominations, including some of the most high-profile officials, meaning they must be renominated.

Senate rules require dropping nominations during an adjournment if there is no agreement to keep them on the calendar. A unanimous consent agreement that kept other nominations pending allowed the 13 to be returned.

The 13 include Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Donald Berwick and National Labor Relations Board member Craig Becker. President Obama gave both recess appointments, but Democrats are seeking full terms despite some GOP opposition.

Others include Peter Diamond for the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, Mary Smith for an assistant Attorney General position, Jeffrey Goldstein for Treasury, and Alan Bersin for Customs Commissioner in the Homeland Security Department.

Among the five judges' names returned are two strongly opposed by Republicans: Goodwin Liu, a law professor nominated to an appellate court judgeship, and John McConnell, a district court nominee.

A White House spokesman did not say Friday whether the nominees will be nominated again. All would require committee approval as well. Democrats won confirmation Thursday of four judges out of 21 on the Senate calendar, in addition to confirming Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan.