The Senate's top Democrat, Harry Reid, welcomed Obama's move. "Regrettably, Senate Republicans have dedicated themselves to a failed strategy to cripple President Obama's economic initiatives by stalling key administration nominees at every turn," said Reid, the majority leader from Nevada.
Corrections has a harder time seeing this from the data. On average a confirmed appointee spent 75.78 days waiting until their confirmation vote. On average, the 15 appointed nominees spent 214 days waiting until their confirmation vote. Of the 13 not-appointed nominees who spent 214 or more days waiting until their nomination vote but were confirmed, the average appointee spent 238.5 days waiting. Twenty-two individuals who waited 214 or more days remain unconfirmed.
Examining these twenty-two, none seem to be "key", as Senator Reid claims. As this can be seen as a subjective claim, Corrections offers a list of positions for the purposes of information dissemination and self-evaluation.
- Four are members of the Commodity Credit Corporation Board of Directors.
- One is the Director of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management.
- There are three Assistant Attorney Generals (of various counsels).
- One is the Deputy Director for State, Local, and Tribal Affairs.
- Another is a Commissioner of the Federal Election Commission.
- Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation
- Five Judges-two local D.C., two Court of Appeals, and a district court judge
- Two board members of the Legal Services Center
- A board member for the national labor relations board
- Chief Counsel of Advocacy
- Under Secretary of International Affairs
Finally, and perhaps most relevantly, we can see that all appointments come after a large expected increase in their expected waiting days for confirmation, examining the conditional expectations (though a Heckman selection model with dubious exclusion restrictions gives an expected average waiting time of between 40 and 88 days, depending on specification). This would perhaps be a more economic explanation of these recess appointments.