President Obama last week made a recess appointment for a gay presidential nominee awaiting confirmation for a high-level position at the Department of Health & Human Services.
The president appointed Richard Sorian as assistant secretary of public affairs for the Department of Health & Human Services along with three other nominees. The recess appointment enables these appointees to take their positions in the Obama administration without having to go through Senate confirmation.
“At a time when our nation faces so many pressing challenges, I urge members of the Senate to stop playing politics with our highly qualified nominees, and fulfill their responsibilities of advice and consent,” Obama said in a statement. “Until they do, I reserve the right to act within my authority to do what is best for the American people.”
Sorian was among three openly gay presidential nominees awaiting Senate confirmation to their positions. The other openly gay nominees who have yet to receive confirmation are Michael Camunez, who was nominated to become assistant secretary of commerce for market access and compliance, and Beatrice Hanson, who was nominated to become director of the Justice Department’s Office of Victims of Crime.
Prior to his presidential appointment, Sorian was vice president for public policy and external relations for the National Committee for Quality Assurance. Before working for NCQA, Sorian was director of public affairs for the Center for Studying Health System Change and a project director at the Georgetown University Institute for Health Care Research and Policy.