The White House on Monday accused Senate Republicans of trying to block a key appointment aimed at fighting the Islamic State's terrorism financing efforts.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest called on the Senate to move forward on the nomination of Adam Szubin as Treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial crimes, and accused Republicans of "playing politics" with national security by failing to hold a hearing on his appointment.

President Obama nominated Szubin to the post three months ago, but Republicans who control the Senate Banking Committee have yet to schedule a hearing for him, Earnest said.

"Senate Republicans won't even give the time of the day for a hearing to the person who is responsible for using all of the elements of our influence and authority from keeping ISIL from raising money on the black market, or otherwise to recruit foreign fighters to inspire others to commit acts of terrorism and to attempt to establish a caliphate in the Middle East," he said, referring to another name for the Islamic State.

Spokesmen for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., did not return requests for comment.

The White House's urgent call to confirm Szubin has some on Capitol Hill scratching their heads and wondering about the motivation behind it. It's not unusual for the Senate to wait several months before moving forward on a presidential nomination, and this is the first time the White House has called for action on Szubin.

Earnest leveled the criticism at the GOP the same day Obama planned a rare visit to the Pentagon to get a progress report on the execution of the U.S. strategy to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

An obvious part of the strategy is the U.S.-led coalition airstrikes on Islamic State targets — 5,100 of which have been carried out so far, 1,950 of them in Syria, Earnest noted.

"But there is a less conspicuous but similarly important element of our strategy … and that is preventing ISIL from funding the violence that has destabilized an entire region," he said.