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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Obama, who 'Excluded Lobbyists', has Appointed 50

The appointment of the 50th lobbyist to a policymaking job by a president who claims he's "excluded" them.

It's important here to set the record straight about what a senator's "hold" is. A "hold" cannot prevent confirmation or even block a vote on confirmation -- that requires a 41-vote filibuster to block cloture or one-man filibuster right out of "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington." A "hold" is an objection to the unanimous-consent decree that would allow confirmation without debate.

So, most of Obama's recess nominations were not about circumventing a filibuster -- labor lawyer Craig Becker was the only one of the 15 who was being filibustered. The other 14 recess appointments were efforts to avoid debate and discussion. Obama says he just wants to get down to business. But given Obama's clear desire to portray his administration as lobbyist-free, it's also good politics to skip a public floor debate over four lobbyist appointees.

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