But short of von Spakovsky stepping aside, lawmakers and White House officials will need to take out their slide rules to sort through a complicated political calculus likely involving a new round of recess appointments. Lawrimore declined to discuss pending personnel matters, but Cyndi Bauerly, a lawyer for Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Charles Schumer (N.Y.), is expected to be named soon as Weintraub’s replacement. Also, Don McGahn, a National Republican Congressional Committee lawyer, likely will replace Michael Toner, whose former commission spot remains vacant.
Toner, Bush’s former campaign lawyer, left the commission last spring to go into private practice.
But combined with Mason, a former aide to retiring Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) and the only commissioner who is not subject to term limits, presumed recess appointments for McGahn and Bauerly still would leave the FEC one commissioner short of the votes necessary to conduct agency business.
Other options White House officials and Senate leaders may be considering include proposing five fresh-faced nominees or exploring whether the deck of current commission recess appointees may be reshuffled and re-recess appointed, a complicated and likely unprecedented strategy.
The White House declined to discuss ongoing considerations on the matter.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.