The Washington Post’s Al Kamen notes that while President Obama has nominated his top appointees at a record pace, the Senate has been approving them at a slower rate than they did for his predecessors:
But less than two weeks into his presidency, just 17 of the 31 nominees officially announced by the White House have been confirmed by the Senate. [...] By comparison, 19 of Bill Clinton’s nominees were confirmed in his first 10 days in office. George W. Bush, who had a much abbreviated transition because of the Florida recount, had 13 nominees confirmed in the first 10 days, according to an analysis by the Presidential Transition Project at New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service in cooperation with The Washington Post.
Among the key nominees awaiting confirmation are Eric Holder for attorney general and Rep. Hilda Solis (D-CA) for Labor Secretary. For example, Senate Republicans have obstructed Holder’s confirmation for 63 days since Obama nominated him on Dec. 1.
A statement from the office of Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) says that the Judiciary Committee chairman opened the chamber’s debate on Holder’s nomination this afternoon and will vote tonight at 6:15 p.m.