WASHINGTON As its 100th day approaches, the Bush administration is missing a plethora of top officials, according to a report from the Brookings Institution.
In nine of 14 cabinet departments, the secretary is the only senior policymaker who has been confirmed, the report revealed. And of 488 top appointments, only 29 have been confirmed by the Senate.
By comparison, President Clinton had 42 appointees confirmed at the end of his first 100 days in office, and President Reagan had 72, the report stated.
President Bushs 100th day is April 29.
As for oversight of the financial services industry, there are vacancies on the Federal Reserve Board, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. board, the Federal Housing Finance Board, and the Security and Exchange Commission.
We expect to see some more names come down the pike in the financial sector in the next few weeks, said Edward L. Yingling, the American Bankers Associations chief lobbyist.
The industry is especially hopeful that one of the two Fed seats will be filled with a banker. Terry J. Jorde, president and chief executive officer of $25.6-million asset CountryBank USA in Cando, N.D., and Gay Wisbey, the top securities regulator in the United Kingdom and an American who formerly worked for Bankers Trust Co., have been interviewed by White House officials.
Were increasingly confident that someone with direct banking experience will be appointed, Mr. Yingling said.
The loss of 35 days to President Bushs transition team during the Florida recount is at least partly to blame for the snails pace. But the report largely blames the appointment-to-confirmation process, which takes an average of eight months.
The worlds leading democracy cannot afford to allow the institutions that execute its laws to grind to a halt every four years, said Paul C. Light, a senior adviser to Brookings.