Siddiqui, Punke, Long Thompson, 12 more get recess appointments<
By James C. Webster
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Siddiqui and Punke had widespread support from major agricultural groups, which had urged the Senate to approve their nominations after they cleared the Senate Finance Committee unanimously in December. More than 40 farm and business trade associations wrote Senate leaders Jan. 21 to say, “There is no justifiable objection to either nominee based on their qualifications.” A campaign opposing Siddiqui's nomination, organized by the National Family Farm Coalition and the Pesticide Action Network, had no impact either with the White House or the Senate.
Obama said that Republicans had blocked votes on most of the 15 nominees “in the interest of scoring political points.” His appointees “have faced an unprecedented level of obstruction in the Senate,” the White House statement said, with 217 nominees pending an average of 101 days, including 34 nominees pending for more than 6 months. Those who received the recess appointments were pending an average of 214 days.
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