Business group backs Pritzker, Zients for Cabinet slots

But Engler stressed that it isn't necessary for Obama to get a CEO into his Cabinet for business groups and the White House to work together toward stronger economic growth. 

He said the key is open lines of communication and, at this point, those exist. 

Plus, finding a CEO to take a significant pay cut isn't easy, either. 

"It's very hard to do," said Senate Finance Committee ranking member Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). 

Although there aren't many names out there, Engler said it isn't for lack of trying by the Administration. 

Lawmakers asked by The Hill on Thursday were uncertain as to who could fill the spots or who Obama might nominate.

While Ron Kirk, who is departing the USTR position, stayed through Obama's first term, the Commerce job has been more difficult to keep filled. 

The department landed Gary Locke early in Obama's first term but he departed in August 2011 to become U.S. Ambassador to China.

In October 2011, businessman John Bryson, former chief executive and president of Edison International, was confirmed to replace him but lasted only eight months. 

In June, Bryson was involved in a car accident in California that was apparently caused by a seizure. He took a medical leave of absence then resigned shortly thereafter. 

Since then, the helm has been occupied by acting secretary Rebecca Blank. 

Kirk, who has ushered through three free trade agreements and permanent normal trade relations for Russia, leaves behind an ambitious and growing trade agenda including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and a potential services sector agreement with about 20 other nations, including most of Europe.