WASHINGTON — Senate Democratic leader George J. Mitchell today blamed President Bush for the slow pace at which he is filling top-level posts in the Administration, noting that no nominations have been made for nearly half the positions. Shortly after Mitchell's complaint, the White House announced three new nominations.
In a sharp response to Bush and presidential Press Secretary Marlin Fitzwater, who have tried to put the blame on the Senate, Mitchell said "the principal cause is the Administration itself."
"The principal problem is in the slow pace at which nominations are being made, not in the pace at which nominations, once made, are being processed," Mitchell said. "Nearly eight months after he took office, the President has failed to make nominations for nearly half of the full-time positions in the executive department and independent agencies which require Senate confirmation.
"Whose responsibility is that?" Mitchell asked.
The nominations announced by the White House today are: Jennifer Joy Wilson, an official of the Environmental Protection Agency, to be assistant commerce secretary for oceans and atmosphere; Evan J. Kemp as chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and Otto G. Obermaier to succeed New York mayoral candidate Rudolph Giuliani as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.