- Associated Press - Sunday, September 17, 2017

DENVER (AP) - A slow hiring pace by the Donald Trump administration in Colorado and surrounding states has produced a spate of vacant top federal jobs.

The Denver Post reports (https://dpo.st/2h8Lp7L) the delays affect law enforcement, the environment, housing and other policy.

Colorado Springs businessman Robert Blaha co-chaired Trump’s Colorado presidential campaign and participates in the vetting process for federal appointments.

Blaha says the bottleneck stems in part from background checks and the U.S. Senate’s slow work pace.

“I don’t know everything that’s going on inside the White House, but I will tell you that I think it’s time to pick up the pace,” Blaha said. He also suggested the administration may not want to fill every position in order to reduce the size of government.

Pending appointments are awaiting in Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Utah, North Dakota and South Dakota - an area collectively designated “Region 8” by the federal government.

Full-time administrators have yet to start work in the regional offices of the Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Department of Housing and Urban Development and Department of Health and Human Services.

Colorado has an acting U.S. attorney and a vacant federal district court seat. A Denver-based regional administrator for the EPA has yet to be named. And the Department of Housing and Urban Development declined to comment to the Post about its search for a regional administrator.

A Senate nomination hearing for Allison Eid, a Colorado Supreme Court justice nominated in June to replace Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch on the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, is set for Wednesday.

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