The Senate must confirm appointments made by every President. This retains the Senate’s authority. It holds confirmation hearings.
That was then. This is now.
The Senate decided that it’s just too much trouble. It wanted out. So, the Senate persuaded the House to go along with a joint surrender to the President. It exempted 170 appointments from any hearings. If the President wants these people to run the bureaucracies — which cannot be fired — that’s his business.
No more advice. Universal consent.
The name of the law is the Presidential Appointment Efficiency and Streamlining Act of 2011.
We all want more efficiency, right? We don’t want to see the Senate bogged down, right?
The Senate passed the bill 79-20, in June 2011. The House passed it by 261-116 last month. Obama signed it on August 10.
Senator Chuck Schumer of New York explains what this means.
“This landmark bipartisan agreement strikes the right balance between getting important positions in the government filled quickly and preserving the Senate’s ‘advice and consent’ role. It isn’t often that Congress voluntarily takes steps to curb its own power. But for the good of our democracy, the Senate must become more efficient. This reform bill will help to break the gridlock that has dominated the Senate, allowing both parties to focus on driving an agenda designed to create jobs and reduce the deficit.”
I feel so much better now. The Senate will become more efficient. It will be able to pass more laws. Then the executive agencies will implement them with more pages in the Federal Register. It published only 83,000 pages in 2011. This new law will help reduce the legislative logjam. We will get far more pages in the future.