Obama makes first recess appointments

March 27, 2010 at 7:25 PM

WASHINGTON, March 27 (UPI) -- President Obama made 15 recess appointments Saturday to labor, trade and commerce positions, bypassing confirmation by the U.S. Senate.

At least one of the appointments, Craig Becker, a union lawyer named to the National Labor Relations Board, is opposed by all Republican senators, the Los Angeles Times reported. Becker was a lawyer for the Service Employees International Union.

"The president's decision to override bipartisan Senate rejection of Craig Becker's nomination is yet another episode of choosing a partisan path despite bipartisan opposition," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said.

Presidents can use recess appointments when Congress is not in session. A two-week break for Passover and Easter began Friday.

In a statement, Obama accused Republicans of holding up his nominations, CNN reported.

"The United States Senate has the responsibility to approve or disapprove of my nominees," Obama said in a statement. "But if, in the interest of scoring political points, Republicans in the Senate refuse to exercise that responsibility, I must act in the interest of the American people and exercise my authority to fill these positions on an interim basis."

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