Mostly -- and remember, I like Congress for the most part -- I found the two quotes from Republican Senators who support this reform really pathetic:
“We are losing very good people because the process has become so onerous, so lengthy and so duplicative,” said Senator Susan Collins, a Maine Republican and a lead advocate of the bill. “Why should there be a full F.B.I background check back to age 18 for an individual serving on a part-time board?”
“We drag some unsuspecting citizen through this gauntlet of investigations and questioning,” said Mr. Alexander, who has dubbed the process the innocent-until-nominated syndrome. “They are very fortunate if they get all the way through without being made to appear a criminal.”
Guess what, Senators Susan Collins and Lamar Alexander: it's not actually in the Constitution that you have to run every appointee through a full FBI check and treat them like criminals!
The real solution isn't to stop confirming them; it's to ratchet the process way down, by returning to the presumption that the president should get the people of his choice. That still would allow for Senators to use the process to secure policy commitments, but put an end to the pointless intense personal scrutiny of every selection. The solution? Return to majority confirmation of executive branch nominees, keep holds, but only for specific policy disputes, and reform the process at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue to radically reduce vetting. Do that, and the Senate will have plenty of capacity for processing everyone, whether they trim the list a bit or not.