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Free Austan Goolsbee!

Bloomberg reports that Council of Economic Advisers appointees Ceci Rouse and Austan Goolsbee have been caught up in a Senate crossfire and have yet to be confirmed:

March 2 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama’s economic advisers are increasingly concerned about the U.S. Senate’s delay in confirming the nominations of Austan Goolsbee and Cecilia Rouse to the White House Council of Economic Advisers.

Without Senate confirmation, the two economists are barred from advising the president as the administration tackles the worst financial crisis in 70 years and tries to advance the spending plan Obama submitted to Congress last week. ...

Goolsbee and Rouse appeared before the Senate Banking Committee on Jan. 15 and were slated for a full Senate confirmation on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, according to a senior administration official. Instead, they were approved by the panel Feb. 10.

They weren’t placed on the confirmation slate for the full chamber, leading some administration officials to conclude that Senate Republicans were retaliating against the Democrats because President George W. Bush’s nominations for the same slots languished in the Senate for months at the end of his second term.

I realize we all need to get even and all, but is it really necessary to take it out on Obama's wonks? Why not an appointee who's more obviously political and not quite as central to solving the current crisis--deputy assistant agriculture secretary for legislative affairs, or something? (With apologies to the future occupant of this position...)

(Via Ben Smith.)

Update: While we're on the subject, it wouldn't be a terrible idea to confirm Gary Gensler either. He's the administration's nominee to head the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the agency that oversees derivatives. It's not like those have been causing problems lately...

--Noam Scheiber