President Obama announced this afternoon that he will make fifteen recess appointments while the Senate is out of town, filling posts that have been vacant for an average of 214 days and royally pissing off Republicans at the same time. Among those installed is Craig Becker, the most controversial of Obama's nominees, whose appointment to the National Labor Relations Board was filibustered by Republicans last month.
In a statement, Obama said he was forced into making the recess appointments by obstructionist Republicans.
“The United States Senate has the responsibility to approve or disapprove of my nominees. But if, in the interest of scoring political points, Republicans in the Senate refuse to exercise that responsibility, I must act in the interest of the American people and exercise my authority to fill these positions on an interim basis."
Obama's statement cited George W. Bush for setting a recess appointment precedent, but he argued that his are even more necessary than Bush's because W "was not facing the same level of obstruction." Nominees installed during a recess may only serve through the end of 2011, when Senate approval is once again required.
Senate gone, Obama seats nominees [Politico]