Administration Concerns Mount After Court Rules On Federal Agency Vacancies
The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said in August that the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998 “prohibits a person from being both the acting officer and the permanent nominee.” The ruling appears to affect at least two top health care officials.
The New York Times:
Administration Protests Limits On Its Power To Fill Vacancies
A federal appeals court ruling that limits the president’s power to appoint officials to temporarily run federal agencies when high-level government jobs become vacant has prompted growing concerns among Obama administration officials. ... At a budget hearing, [Representative Leonard Lance, Republican of New Jersey] asked Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the secretary of health and human services, how many officials were serving at her department in an acting capacity. Ms. Burwell named two: Mary K. Wakefield, the acting deputy secretary, and Dr. Karen B. DeSalvo, the acting assistant secretary for health. Another top health official, Andrew M. Slavitt, has been nominated by Mr. Obama to be administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services but has been unable to get a confirmation hearing. (Pear, 2/28)