Presidential Appointee Reform

July 3, 2003

NPR host Bob Edwards talks with Paul Light, who led the Brookings Institution’s Presidential Appointee Initiative. The project was supposed to shorten the time it takes the Senate to move a presidential nominee into the executive branch. But after studying the issue for four years, Light declared last week that the reform effort failed.

Bob Edwards: It takes nearly nine months to move a presidential nominee through Senate confirmation and into the Executive Branch. The Presidential Appointee Initiative was supposed to untangle that process. Paul Light ran the initiative and has declared that after four years and nearly $4 million, the effort had fallen short.

Bob Edwards: While he did publish a survivers’ guide for presidential nominees, the system is still cumbersome. Paul Light says there are ways to improve some improve some aspects of the system.

Paul Light: Streamline the forms. Get rid of some of these ridiculous questions that apppointees have to answer that have absolutely no bearing on one’s ability to serve. …

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