Hawaii has proven to be both a vacation respite for President Obama and a place to get some work done away from the office. He has used his time in the Aloha State to make some key recess appointments since the U.S. Senate has adjourned for the year.
The White House announced on Wednesday that the president has made six recess appointments to three different federal agencies. Per his power as chief executive, President Obama can bypass the Senate when they are not in session and make appointments to federal positions on which they stall the confirmation process. It is a tactic that several presidents have used to get their most controversial nominees into position when the Senate sets up roadblocks.
According to a written statement, President Obama has appointed William J. Boarman as the Public Printer of the United States. Mr. Boarman has a background in senior leadership and the Printing, Publishing, and Media Workers Sector of the Communication Workers of America union. In his role with the Government Printing Office, he will oversee major printing initiatives for Congress, the Executive Office of the President, the Department of State, and the Supreme Court, to name a few.
At the Justice Department, James M. Cole will now serve as Deputy Attorney General. He will serve under Attorney General Eric Holder. Mr. Cole is leaving 15 years of private practice to join the Department of Justice. This is his second career move to the Department of Justice, having served there from 1983-1995.
The Department of State, under the leadership of Secy. Hillary Clinton, will add four ambassadors to its roster. Matthew J. Bryza (Republic of Azerbaijan), Norman L. Eisen (Czech Republic), Robert Stephen Ford (Syrian Arab Republic), and Francis J. Ricciardone, Jr. (Republic of Turkey) have all been appointed to represent the U.S. interests on behalf of the respective nations.
Bryza, Ford, and Ricciardone are all career members of the Foreign Service and Senior Foreign Service, having served in various posts throughout the Middle East, Europe, and Africa. Eisen joins the State Department from the White House where he served as special assistant to the president on ethics and government reform. He was also special council during the presidential transition of Barack Obama.
The White House has not signaled how many more recess appointments may be made before the Senate reconvenes on January 3 to start the 112th Congress.