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Obama announces six recess appointments

Dec. 29, 2010 at 7:13 PM

WASHINGTON, Dec. 29 (UPI) -- The White House announced Wednesday President Barack Obama intends to recess-appoint six nominees for key posts that have been vacant for some time.

Obama intends to recess-appoint James M. Cole as deputy attorney general and William J. Boarman as public printer, the White House said in a statement.

The president also intends to recess-appoint Matthew J. Bryza as ambassador to Azerbaijan, Norman L. Eisen as ambassador to the Czech Republic, Robert Stephen Ford as ambassador to Syria, and Francis J. Ricciardone Jr. as ambassador to Turkey.

Cole is a longtime friend of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. His nomination had been blocked by Senate Republicans over questions regarding his attitude on terrorism and his performance from 2005-09 as an independent monitor at AIG, a large insurance company that received a federal bailout during the financial crisis, Politico reported Wednesday.

The White House noted that all six appointments have been waiting for Senate action for nearly five months, Politico said.

Outgoing Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Pat Leahy, D-Vt., said the delay in consideration of Cole's appointment was "unnecessary and wrong."

"His nomination received bipartisan support from public officials and from high-ranking veterans of the Justice Department, and I believe that he would have been confirmed by the Senate had his nomination been given an up-or-down vote," Leahy said.

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