Reid Blames GOP for Delaying Obama Nominees
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) called for confirmation of a handful of stalled Obama administration nominees Tuesday and blamed Republicans for wasting precious floor time to debate the president’s noncontroversial picks. “This is another one of the endless delays we’ve had to go through here,— Reid said on the Senate floor. “We’ve had so many 30 hours of doing nothing that it’s hard to comprehend the wasted time of all the staff. Senators’ time could be put to better use.— This week, the Senate is poised to confirm the nomination of Patricia Smith as solicitor of the Labor Department and Martha Johnson as administrator of the General Services Administration. Reid suggested Tuesday he might line up votes for one or both nominees as soon as Tuesday or Wednesday, when Democrats are scheduled to convene for an all-day policy retreat just blocks down Pennsylvania Avenue at the Newseum. “If we have to come in tomorrow, either before or after the retreat, we’re going to have to do that to meet the burdens of this endless stalling that’s taking place here in the Senate,— Reid said.If both nominations are approved by the end of the week, Senators could then delve into the first of several jobs packages. Reid is hoping to get one bill done before the Presidents Day recess, which begins Feb. 13. Sen.-elect Scott Brown (R-Mass.) is also expected to be sworn in before the weeklong break, most likely on Feb. 11. Brown was elected in an upset victory last month to the seat held by the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D).