US President Barack Obama rapped Republican Senators for obstructing government Saturday, making 15 interim appointments to key posts which have been held up by the opposition party.
In unusually harsh tone, Obama charged that the centre-right Republicans were only interested in scoring "political points" by refusing to approve more than 200 nominees for months on end, dpa reported.
"At a time of economic emergency, two top appointees to the
Department of Treasury have been held up for nearly six months," Obama said. "I simply cannot allow partisan politics to stand in the way of basic functioning of government."
Since the Senate has recessed for the Easter break, the president is entitled to make interim appointments without their approval.
Democratic majority leader Harry Reid said that Obama's nominees had "fared worse than others in recent memory." He charged that Republicans had "dedicated themselves to a failed strategy to cripple President Obamas economic initiatives."
Since last weekend's razor-edge passage of historic health insurance reform along party lines, bitter party rhetoric has escalated along with death threats against Democratic legislators and violent acts against their party offices.
The darling of the conservative Tea Party movement, former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, even used rifle scope-like crosshairs on her Facebook page to identify 20 seats she plans to help Republicans win in November.
"Don't Retreat, instead - RELOAD!" she told supporters on Twitter, referring to the action one takes when putting new ammunition in a gun.