Almost nine months after the Obama administration took power, more than half of the 33 highest-level Treasury Department posts are still vacant.
Among those nominated by the White House but still awaiting Senate confirmation are the undersecretaries for international and domestic finance and the assistant secretaries who oversee international development, financial markets and tax policy.
The delays are in line with those under other administrations, but with the economy struggling to recover from the deepest downturn since the Great Depression, the demands for sound policy decisions from the Treasury are anything but ordinary.
“It’s a major concern,” said Norm Ornstein, a congressional analyst with the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative Washington think tank. “If we have an international economic crisis … you don’t want to have a thin bench.”