Let’s not forget, part-time Senator Barack Obama said of recess appointments “‘It’s the wrong thing to do” and a recess appointee is ‘damaged goods… we will have less credibility.’ Except, Congress isn’t actually in recess
(The Hill) Obama infuriated Republicans Wednesday by announcing the recess appointment of Richard Cordray to be the first director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Senate Republicans had blocked Cordray’s nomination for months, so the president bypassed them with a recess appointment during the holiday break.
He followed that up later in the day with recess appointments for three members of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), heading off another likely GOP filibuster.
Remember when Bush was president, Democrats thought it was the responsible thing to do to block his appointments, then, when they controlled Congress, they kept one branch or the other in “session” so President Bush could not make recess appointments. Harry Reid did the same thing to Bush, specifically. Of course, now that they have a Democrat
Dictator President in office, they are mad that the same thing is being done by the Republicans. Just a note of warning to Dems: you won’t always control the White House, so, Obama just set “precedent” for future Republican Presidents. Can’t wait to hear your whining.
Anyhow, Cordray is apparently a typical progressive, who thinks that any minor piece of legislation is an excuse to increase the power of the Central Government, regardless of what the Constitution says. Speaking of the Constitution, all the news articles keep saying that Obama is creating a “new precedent.” Technically, I suppose he is
The recess appointments broke with legal precedent, as they while the Senate is holding regular pro forma sessions. Republicans insist the Senate has not been in recess thanks to the seconds-long sessions held every few days, but White House attorneys determined the procedural move is a gimmick that can be ignored by the president.
Article I, Section 5 of the Constitution, which states: “Neither House, during the Session of Congress, shall, without the Consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days.” Which means that the Senate cannot be in recess as long as the House stays open.
Article II, Section 2 states “The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.”
The Senate is in session, whether the Democrats like it or not, meaning these appointments are un-Constitutional. But, then, when have Democrats ever cared what the Constitution actually says and means when it stands in their way?