WASHINGTON – In response to President Bush\’s recess appointments of Otto Reich as Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs and Eugene Scalia as Solicitor of the Department of Labor, taxpayer advocate Grover Norquist issued the following statement:

"President Bush\’s appointments of two highly qualified men for two senior administration posts is testament to both the President\’s leadership and the Senate\’s obstructionism.

"Both Otto Reich and Eugene Scalia are as highly qualified as possible for their respective new positions of Labor Department Solicitor and Assistant Secretary of State. Yet, Senate Democrats refused to even hold hearings on Mr. Reich\’s nomination, and in the case of Mr. Scalia would not allow a vote on the floor.

"Is it not telling that Tom Daschle can find time to schedule a vote for expanding Bison-ranching subsidies in the Dakotas, but not for constitutionally-mandated things like sustaining America\’s diplomatic responsibilities or competence in federal courts. Especially in the diplomatic field, where all resources must be expended, the Democratic leadership in the Senate allowed partisan politics to supersede America\’s national interest."