President Obama today sounded off on the hold that’s been placed on Martha Johnson’s nomination to head the General Services Administration, even as the Senate planned a procedural maneuver to force a vote on her confirmation.
After addressing the Senate Democratic Policy Committee Issues Conference this morning, the president opened the floor to questions. Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, voiced his frustration that many of Obama’s judicial nominees and political appointees were being blocked by Republicans.
While conceding that Democrats have been guilty of the same thing in the past, Obama said Republicans are blocking nominees for reasons that have nothing to do with their qualifications for their prospective jobs.
He then specifically mentioned Johnson, whose nomination has been held up by Sen. Kit Bond, R-Mo., because Bond wants GSA to promise to move a federal complex to downtown Kansas City.
Nobody can tell me that there’s anything particularly wrong with her. They’re blocking her because of some unrelated matter. Don’t hold this — this woman hostage. If you have an objection about my health-care policies, then let’s debate the health-care policies. But don’t suddenly end up having a GSA administrator who is stuck in limbo somewhere because you don’t like something else that we’re doing.