Thursday, January 05, 2006

Julie L. Myers and Ellen R. Sauerbrey Appointed to Key Posts

Read the full article by Thomas B. Edsall in The Washington Post. (January 5, 2006)

"President Bush yesterday made a raft of controversial recess appointments, including Julie L. Myers to head the Immigration and Customs Enforcement bureau at the Department of Homeland Security, in a maneuver circumventing the need for approval by the Senate.

"Myers, a niece of former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Richard B. Myers and the wife of the chief of staff to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, had been criticized by Republicans and Democrats who charged that she lacked experience in immigration matters."

A previous article by Dan Eggen and Spencer S. Hsu in The Washington Post (September 20, 2005) noted:
The Bush administration is seeking to appoint a lawyer with little immigration or customs experience to head the troubled law enforcement agency that handles those issues, prompting sharp criticism from some employee groups, immigration advocates and homeland security experts......Concerns over Myers, 36, were acute enough at a Senate hearing last week that lawmakers asked the nominee to detail during her testimony her postings and to account for her management experience. Sen. George V. Voinovich (R-Ohio) went so far as to tell Myers that her resume indicates she is not qualified for the job......After working as a federal prosecutor in Brooklyn, N.Y., for two years, Myers held a variety of jobs over the past four years at the White House and at the departments of Commerce, Justice and Treasury, though none involved managing a large bureaucracy.......Myers highlighted her year-long job as assistant secretary for export enforcement at Commerce, where she said she supervised 170 employees and a $25 million budget. ICE has more than 20,000 employees and a budget of approximately $4 billion. Its personnel investigate immigrant, drug and weapon smuggling, and illegal exports, among other responsibilities.
Read some outraged comments from the blogosphere:
* Daily Kos
* Michelle Malkin
* Debbie Schlussel
* Diggers Realm

Edsall also notes in his Washington Post article:

"The president avoided an abortion rights battle with the recess appointment of former Maryland Republican gubernatorial candidate Ellen R. Sauerbrey as assistant secretary of state for population, refugees and migration. Sauerbrey is an opponent of abortion rights."

Gwyneth K. Shaw writes in The Baltimore Sun (January 5, 2006):
The nomination of Sauerbrey, 68, to lead the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration had languished in the Senate since Bush nominated her in September. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing on the nomination in October but put off a planned committee vote at the request of Sen. Barbara Boxer, a California Democrat.

Boxer expressed disappointment last night at Bush's decision to use his authority to fill the job using a so-called recess appointment, avoiding Senate confirmation while senators are taking a break.

Bush used the same power to install John R. Bolton as the ambassador to the United Nations after his confirmation was blocked in the Senate.

Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes, a Maryland Democrat who sharply questioned Sauerbrey during her hearing, said Bush should have let the Senate do its job. "I am disappointed that President Bush did not allow the Senate to complete its advise and consent role with a full evaluation and votes ... on the qualifications of Ellen Sauerbrey to this important position," Sarbanes said in a statement......

Some of those groups criticized her nomination as soon as it was announced. Liberal groups said she was a presidential crony and compared her to former Federal Emergency Management Agency chief Michael Brown and White House counsel Harriet E. Miers, whose nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court was withdrawn.

Some also questioned whether her ardent opposition to abortion would affect the way the United States handles reproductive health issues involving international refugees.
Some of the blogosphere comments on this appointment:
* ModerateVoters.Org
* MaxSpeak
* Bring It On

Ellen R. Sauerbrey was described as follows at the Third World Congress of Families in March, 2004:
A Republican National Committeewoman and former Minority Leader of the Maryland House of Delegates. In 1994, Sauerbrey was the Republican nominee for Governor of Maryland, coming within four tenths of one percent of victory. Following the election, she became a radio talk-show host and a TV commentator. Her columns have appeared in the Washington Post, Washington Times, Baltimore Sun, and many other Maryland papers.


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