9/11 Commission Recommendations: The Senate Confirmation Process for Presidential Nominees [Updated November 22, 2004] [open pdf - 130KB]
"On July 22, 2004, the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, known as the 9/11 Commission, issued its final report, detailing the events up to and including the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks upon the United States. The report contained 41 recommendations on ways to prevent future catastrophic assaults, including a series of proposals designed to improve the presidential appointments process as it relates to the top national security officials at the beginning of a new administration. On October 6, the Senate passed legislation (S. 2845) to implement many of the changes recommended by the 9/11 Commission. The House on October 8 passed its version of the legislation (H.R. 10). Conferees working out the differences between the two bills reported out a compromise on November 20. Two other measures dealing with the 9/11 Commission's recommendations (S. 2774 and H.R. 5040) were introduced in early September. The 9/11 Commission recommended that the Senate adopt rules requiring hearings and votes to confirm or reject national security nominees within 30 days of their submission at the start of each new presidential administration. Implicit in the proposal is the assumption that there is a problem with the process for nominating and confirming presidential appointees. Analysis of Senate consideration of the initial nominations by Presidents William J. Clinton and George W. Bush to the posts covered by the recommendation shows that the commission's proposed timetable was not met in 14 of the 49 cases, suggesting this is an issue in a minority of cases."
CRS Report for Congress, RL32551