Parties Cooperate to Streamline Appointments

It seems bipartisanship isn't quite dead: In an attempt to reduce the backlog of presidential appointees, both parties are moving to cut the number of offices subject to Senate approval. Both the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, and Republican leader, Mitch McConnell have endorsed the proposal to end Senate review of about 200 executive branch positions. The approval process has become increasingly difficult for a nominee to pass, and has sometimes become brutal public shamings as lawmakers dig through the nominee's history. Several of President Obama's picks for Cabinet posts withdrew after the process turned up embarrassing facts about them. In addition to cutting the number of jobs subject to Senate approval, the proposal would create a study group to work on a single “smart form” intended to let nominees “answer all vetting questions one way, at a single time.”