Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Refusing to advise and consent to a Presidential Appointee

In a further sign that some politicians are not connected to reality, it seems that Senator John Barrasso (R, Wyo.) is opposing the nomination of John Bryson to be the next Commerce Secretary (replacing Gary Locke, soon to be Ambassador to China):

Barrasso gave fellow Republicans a one-pager at their policy lunch Tuesday — with the heading "Mismatched: John Bryson & the Commerce Department" — citing his founding of the "extreme environmental organization" the Natural Resources Defense Council and his support of the cap-and-trade bill House Democrats passed in 2009.

"Instead of appointing a truly an economic leader, he has appointed an environmental extremist," Barrasso told reporters after the lunch.

Apparently Mr. Bryson's current stint as chairman of the board of BrightSource Energy, former as well as his former employment as president of the California Public Utilities Commission and as the former chairman, president and CEO of Edison International don 't qualify him as a businessman. In addition, with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) making up approximately 65% of the Department of Commerce's budget in years we don't take the Census, having someone with environmental familiarity wouldn't be a bad idea either.

Of course, there's little love lost between NOAA and Republicans on the Hill these days, since NOAA administers the Endangered Species Act in marine waters of the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone, and many Republican politicians want to ditch the ESA.

Still, you have to wonder why a politician wants to ditch someone whose actually qualified to lead both parts of the organization. Actually you don't - this is all about sticking it to President Obama.

H/t Ezra Klein at Wonkbook

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