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 Home > News & Policies > November 2002

For Immediate Release
November 13, 2002

Press Briefing Excerpt by Scott McClellan 11/13/02

Click here for full transcript.

Q Scott, on another issue from the news conference last week, President Bush talked about Pickering and Owens in the Senate committee, Judiciary Committee. What is the work right now that's happening on that process with them to make it through and to actually --

MR. McCLELLAN: I'm glad you brought that up. I understand Congress is moving on a couple of the nominations. The President has made it very clear that the voice of the entire Senate deserves to be heard on his nominees. There are far too many vacancies in the judiciary and far too many very qualified individuals who have been held up, their nominations have been held up. And that's why the President said the voice of the entire Senate needs to be heard. There are currently 18 pending court of appeals nominees being held up, almost all of whom have received very strong bipartisan support. So we urge Congress to -- urge the Senate to allow those nominees to be voted on, on the floor.

Q You're vocally urging from the podium, but what has the President done since the news conference in talking about what could be done for these nominees?

MR. McCLELLAN: I think the White House staff continues to work with Congress to move these nominees forward. We work very closely with them on an individual basis. I would also point out -- I would also point out on nominations that there are over -- this is beyond just judicial nominees -- there are over 95 nominations awaiting floor action, and over 150 nominations awaiting committee and floor action. And it's important that Congress move forward on those nominees, as well, so that we have people in place to carry out their responsibilities.