WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama's senior political adviser is defending a decision to do an end run around Congress on 15 appointments to federal boards and agencies.
David Axelrod says the administration faces a "huge number of vacancies" and Republicans won't act on the nominations of 77 people.
He tells CNN's "State of the Union" in an interview to be aired today that former President George W. Bush had far fewer nominations stacked up when he made 15 recess appointments. Now, Axelrod says, sensitive positions in Treasury, Homeland Security and more cannot continue to go unfilled.
Republicans are particularly upset over the appointment of union lawyer Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board. They fear he'll bring a radical pro-union agenda to the job.