US President Barack Obama on Wednesday took the rare step of by-passing Congress to push through the temporary appointment of Norman Eisen to the post of US ambassador to Prague. The president was able to make the appointment for a 12 month period due to the fact that the US Congress is now in recess. Norman Eisen had worked as an assistant to the president on ethics and government reform since the beginning of his term in January of 2009. His nomination to the post of US ambassador to Prague was blocked by Republican Senator Charles Grassley in September. The post of US ambassador to Prague has been unoccupied since the departure of Richard Graber in January 2009. Analysts say the long vacancy was damaging Czech-US relations.