The most important government story of the last few days had nothing to do with chains or cancer pregnancy-preventing super-hormones. Josh Gerstein reports on the signing of the the Presidential Appointment Efficiency and Streamlining Act of 2011. Sen. Joe Lieberman’s office lists all the jobs that no longer need to be confirmed by the Senate – Assistant Administrator of FEMA grants, 321 NOAA officers, the entire Commodity Credit Corporation, etc and etc. Lieberman:
Future Administrations will be able to get their teams in place more quickly, and the Senate will be able focus its time and energy on the most important Executive Branch appointments. In no way does this bill erode the Senate’s role of “advice and consent.” Rather, it strengthens the Senate’s power by freeing us up to concentrate on nominees who will actually shape national policy.
The most important change, you could argue, was made to the Council of Economic Advisers. Now, two of its members need no Senate confirmation. If Barack Obama gets another term, that frees him up to appoint economists (or hacks!) who might have otherwise suffered through faux-scandalized hearings.