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An emboldened President Obama filled 15 key administration posts Saturday by bypassing the Senate, defying the GOP as he announced his first recess appointments since taking office.
Among the appointees was Craig Becker, a Chicago-based labor attorney whose nomination to the National Labor Relations Board was blocked last month in the Senate.
Business groups had said that Becker was too supportive of organized labor to serve on the five-member board, which rules on unfair-labor-practice claims, and Republican senators had warned Obama not to use the congressional Easter recess to appoint him.
Obama said last month that he would use recess appointments unless Senate Republicans stopped blocking scores of his nominees. Even so, his move Saturday suggested a new political confidence days after he signed the health-care overhaul into law, as well as his continued frustration with partisanship on Capitol Hill that has been inflamed by his push to secure the legislation.