Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Liberals are Pushing a Wish List on Obama

Labor unions and liberal groups are pressing President Obama to select left-wing nominees for key regulatory and judicial posts in the aftermath of the Senate nuclear option. 
Groups have been meeting with White House officials throughout the year to influence the president’s selection of nominees and plan to ramp up their efforts in the weeks ahead. 
“Before we weren’t trying to push people with a labor backgrounds because we knew they would never have been confirmable,” said a senior labor official. “That bar has been removed. You’ll see considerable interest in seeing more progressive people appointed to positions.”
Groups are keeping their wish lists of potential nominees secret for fear that Republicans could still muster enough opposition to stall their confirmations if it became known they are the top priorities of the left. 
“We do have a couple we’re trying to push right now,” said the labor official, who declined to reveal specifically which vacant positions are under discussion. “There are some assistant secretary positions.”
Earlier this month, Senate Democrats changed the Senate’s rules to lower the threshold for advancing executive and judicial branch nominees from 60 votes to a simple majority. The change does not apply to Supreme Court nominees. There are 55 senators who are in the Democratic caucus. 
Liberal consumer advocacy groups have their sights set on two positions with regulatory oversight of Wall Street, one on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and another on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.
“There has been a real need — because that’s the way you get people through the process — to find consensus and to find people who are perhaps more industry friendly or who can get us to that higher threshold,” said Lisa Gilbert, director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch. 
“Now that barrier is taken away so I think Obama has freedom to appoint folks who serve the public, who think about our financial sector with a longer view,” she said.
Read the rest of the story HERE.

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