Dozens of High-Level Jobs Remain Unfilled in Obama Administration

Thursday, 15 Aug 2013 03:18 PM

By Dan Weil

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Dozens of top administration jobs that need both presidential nomination and Senate confirmation have been left empty.

The White House blames an obstructionist Senate, but even some Democrats say President Barack Obama is at least partly to blame, Politico reports. He has been slow to nominate candidates, they point out.

The problem is highlighted at the Department of Homeland Security where secretary Janet Napolitano is due to leave next month. With Obama’s nominee for deputy secretary Alejandro Mayorkas stuck amid accusations of corruption, the third-in-line, undersecretary for national protection and programs Rand Beers, will be left in charge.

Other major vacant positions include the undersecretary for personnel and readiness at the Department of Defense and the head of the Small Business Administration, Politico reported.

Obama is putting some of his job choices in place in an acting capacity to get around slow confirmation. But again he's receiving criticism — even from Democrats — on this practice.

"Some very good people are called on to serve on an acting basis," Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., told Politico. "But for those people and everyone else at the agency, there’s always a question, ‘Is this person still going to be around next week or next month?’ There’s a lack of continuity and predictability."

Max Stier, president of the Partnership for Public Service, puts blame on both Congress and the president. "The administration needs to be putting up candidates for these slots faster and more comprehensively. Congress needs to move on nominations," he told Politico.

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