Obama Recess Appointments Spark Partisan Rancor

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Partisan tensions are riding high in Washington, D.C., after President Barack Obama bypassed the vacationing Senate to make 15 recess appointments on Saturday.

"I simply cannot allow partisan politics to stand in the way of the basic functioning of government," Obama said in a statement.

One of the 15 appointees include union lawyer Craig Becker who is being named to the National Labor Relations Board.

Republicans had blocked his nomination on grounds he would bring a radical pro-union agenda to the job.

"Once again the administration showed that it had little respect for the time-honored constitutional roles and procedures of Congress," Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said in reaction to the appointments. "This is clear payback by the administration to organized labor."

The White House disagreed.

"Look, the Senate has a responsibility to dispose of these nominations," Senior White House advisor David Axelrod said. "The average wait for the people who are appointed in these recess appointments today -- they've been waiting seven months for a vote in the Senate."

In the past, both Republican and Democratic presidents have made recess appointments.

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