President Barack Obama “sent the Senate his nomination of Donald Berwick as administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Monday — a move that comes two weeks after Obama bypassed Congress to put his stalled nominee in the post until the end of 2011,” Roll Call reports.
Obama’s effort to clear Berwick through the Senate on top of his recess appointment would grant his nominee the job indefinitely, as he would serve at “the pleasure of the president,” according to a White House aide.
The president originally nominated Berwick to the CMS post in April, but Republicans blocked the effort and have tied the nomination to their criticism of the health care overhaul. Obama broke the logjam earlier this month by using a recess appointment to install Berwick in the post, a tactic that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said illustrated the president’s attempt to “arrogantly circumvent the American people.”
Republicans, among other things, argue that Democrats never set a confirmation hearing for Dr. Berwick.
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