Working Vacation: Obama Makes Controversial Appointments

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"Despite repeated requests, for more than five months, Senate Republicans refused to debate the nomination of Jim Cole to be the deputy attorney general," Leahy said in a paper statement. "I have no question that Jim Cole is highly qualified to fill this vital law enforcement post. His nomination received bipartisan support from public officials and from high-ranking veterans of the Justice Department, and I believe that he would have been confirmed by the Senate had his nomination been given an up-or-down vote."

The White House, arguing that the delay in confirming its nominees has been unprecedented, said that the six nominees were waiting a total of 888 days, more than two-and-a-half years, to start their jobs.

A president can make recess appointments when the Senate is adjourned for the session, and the appointments last until the end of the next session.

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