President Bush on Tuesday made recess appointments of a Republican and Democrat to the Securities and Exchange Commission, permitting them to serve temporarily without the approval of the Senate.
Republican Cynthia Glassman, a principal at the Ernst & Young accounting firm, and Democrat Isaac Hunt Jr., who was an SEC member from 1996 to last month, received the appointments.
They can serve until the Senate adjourns at the end of the year.
Bush used his constitutional authority to install executive agency officials while Congress is in recess. The legislative body returns today.
Glassman and Hunt will join Chairman Harvey Pitt, a Republican, on the five-member commission. The other member, Republican Laura Unger, has said she intends to leave as soon as a replacement can be named.
Including Unger's seat, the SEC now has two openings for commissioners.
Bush in December announced plans to nominate Glassman as well as another accounting executive, PricewaterhouseCoopers lawyer Paul Atkins.
Bush hasn't announced plans for the fifth slot, which by law must be filled by a non-Republican.
The naming of Glassman and nomination of Atkins, both from Big Five accounting firms, may stir controversy: Accounting issues have taken center stage at the SEC with the collapse of Enron Corp.