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Lots of recess appointments, but one big one missing

Over the weekend, President Barack Obama made 15 recess appointments, using his Constitutionally granted right to name appointees directly into their positions when the Congress is in recess. They included a number relevant to foreign policy and economy: Jeff Goldstein as undersecretary for domestic finance; Eric Hirschhorn as undersecretary of commerce for export administration; Michael ...

Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Over the weekend, President Barack Obama made 15 recess appointments, using his Constitutionally granted right to name appointees directly into their positions when the Congress is in recess.

They included a number relevant to foreign policy and economy: Jeff Goldstein as undersecretary for domestic finance; Eric Hirschhorn as undersecretary of commerce for export administration; Michael Punke as deputy trade representative; Frank Sanchez as under secretary for international trade; Alan Bersin as commisssioner of U.S. customs and border protection.

But they did not include perhaps Obama’s highest-profile remaining unconfirmed nominee: Lael Brainard, the former Brookings and academic economist due to take Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner’s former job as treasury undersecretary for international affairs. Brainard has been serving as an adviser to Geithner while awaiting confirmation — as was Goldstein, just granted a recess appointment. Does the non-appointment mean that Obama expects her confirmation to come through? Does it mean Treasury plans to move her into a non-appointed position? Does it mean she might withdraw from consideration? It’s a big question mark. 

Over the weekend, President Barack Obama made 15 recess appointments, using his Constitutionally granted right to name appointees directly into their positions when the Congress is in recess.

They included a number relevant to foreign policy and economy: Jeff Goldstein as undersecretary for domestic finance; Eric Hirschhorn as undersecretary of commerce for export administration; Michael Punke as deputy trade representative; Frank Sanchez as under secretary for international trade; Alan Bersin as commisssioner of U.S. customs and border protection.

But they did not include perhaps Obama’s highest-profile remaining unconfirmed nominee: Lael Brainard, the former Brookings and academic economist due to take Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner’s former job as treasury undersecretary for international affairs. Brainard has been serving as an adviser to Geithner while awaiting confirmation — as was Goldstein, just granted a recess appointment. Does the non-appointment mean that Obama expects her confirmation to come through? Does it mean Treasury plans to move her into a non-appointed position? Does it mean she might withdraw from consideration? It’s a big question mark. 

Annie Lowrey is assistant editor at FP.

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