Sen. Chuck Grassley, ranking member of the Committee on Finance, today made the following comment on the President's recess appointment of two nominees that were pending in the committee.
"A lot of presidents have used recess appointments, but it shows a lot of disregard for the Senate's advise-and-consent role to bypass not just the full Senate, but also the committee of jurisdiction that was in the middle of vetting the nominees in its jurisdiction. Jeffrey Goldstein and Alan Bersin were undergoing the Finance Committee's vetting process. The vetting was bipartisan, as it has been since 2001 and maybe before that. Dr. Goldstein was answering my final questions about his prior work at a private equity firm that used offshore blocker corporations in the Cayman Islands to avoid U.S. taxes and his earning of 'carried interest.' Mr. Bersin was answering questions from both the chairman's and my staff about what appeared to be conflicting information about his documentation and disclosure of various household employees. In both cases, this due diligence was directly relevant to the positions these nominees will hold. It's a blow to a 'well-functioning government', to use the President's term, that the President didn't see fit to allow the Finance Committee's due diligence to conclude. Now that the vetting process has been interrupted, these individuals will take their jobs without the public knowing whether they have experience that bears negatively (or positively) on their ability to serve the taxpayers. Also, the President should be more precise in his claims of Republican obstructionism. Finance Committee vetting is bipartisan. Beyond that, senators have every right to draw attention to an issue of concern by highlighting a nominee. It's something that happened regularly with Democratic senators and Bush nominees, sometimes before a nominee was even allowed to have a hearing in the Finance Committee."