Just before leaving for its August recess Friday, the Senate cleared more than six dozen of President Barack Obama’s nominees, including multiple assistant secretaries and ambassadors.
But most notable may be the lack of several confirmation votes of particular interest to federal employees. The nomination of Cass Sunstein to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, has been held up for months over concerns over ideas in his academic writings. Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., filed cloture on Sunstein’s nomination, setting up a final vote on confirmation when the Senate returns Sept. 8.
The Senate also took no action on the nomination of Martha Johnson as administrator of the General Services Administration. Her nomination is not controversial, and the delay has frustrated federal workforce leaders such as Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
The Senate did clear several notable nominations, including Alejandro Mayorkas as director of the Citizenship and Immigration Services, Francis Collins as director of the National Institutes of Health and Robert Abbey as director of the Bureau of Land Management.
The full list of confirmed agency nominees, in alphabetical order:
- Robert Adler, a commissioner of the Consumer Product Safety Commission;
- Christopher Bertram, assistant secretary of Transportation;
- Patricia Cahill, member of the board of directors of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting;
- Julia Clark, general counsel of the Federal Labor Relations Authority;
- Kevin Cochran, administrator of U.S. Fire Administration;
- Ernest DuBester, member of the Federal Labor Relations Authority;
- Daniel Elliott, member of the Surface Transportation Board;
- Joan Evans, assistant secretary of Veterans Affairs;
- Jeffrey Feltman, assistant secretary of State for near-Eastern affairs;
- Colin Fulton, assistant administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency;
- Alexander Garza, assistant secretary and chief medical officer for the Homeland Security Department;
- Christopher Hart, member of the National Transportation Safety Board;
- Dennis Hightower, deputy secretary of Commerce;
- Craig Hooks, assistant administrator of the EPA;
- Raymond Jefferson, assistant secretary of Labor for veterans’ employment and training;
- Kerri-Ann Jones, assistant secretary of State for oceans, international environmental and scientific affairs
- David J. Kappos, undersecretary for Commerce for intellectual property and director, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
- Susan Kurland, assistant secretary of Transportation;
- Rocco Landesman, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts;
- James Leach, chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities;
- Wilma Lewis, assistant secretary of the Interior;
- James Markowsky, assistant secretary of Energy for fossil energy;
- A. Thomas McLellan, deputy director of the National Drug Control Policy;
- Warren Miller, assistant secretary of Energy for nuclear energy;
- Cranston Mitchell, a commissioner of the U.S. Parole Commission;
- Anne Northup, a commissioner of the Consumer Product Safety Commission;
- Maria Otero, undersecretary of State;
- Christopher Schroeder, assistant attorney general;
- Aaron Williams, director of the Peace Corps.