A bipartisan group of Senators proposed a bill Wednesday that would reduce the number of presidential nominations that need Senate confirmation, thus helping to clear the current backlog of stalled executive branch nominations.
In legislation proposed as part of a bipartisan deal to reform Senate rules, Democratic Conference Vice Chairman Charles Schumer (N.Y.), Republican Conference Chairman Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), and Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) unveiled a bill that would exempt about 200 executive nominations and 3,000 officer corps posts from a confirmation vote by the full Senate.
According to the authors, the legislation would reduce the Senate’s confirmation load by a third. In addition, a separate resolution offered Wednesday would create a “streamlined” confirmation process for 250 part-time executive branch positions.
“This is the final piece to the puzzle of the bipartisan agreement on Senate rules reform. It strikes the right balance between getting important positions in the government filled quickly while preserving the Senate’s ‘advise and consent’ role,” Schumer said in a statement from the group.
Alexander added in the statement, “This bipartisan effort will free up the Senate so it can focus on our country’s most urgent needs of reducing spending and debt, rather than on confirming hundreds of junior and part-time positions in any president’s administration, like the public-relations officer of a minor department.”
The Senators noted that the bill would complete a deal agreed to this year over changing the chamber’s filibuster rules.
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.