Obama takes victory lap over recess appointment to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

What do you call a president who says that if Congress doesn't approve what he wants he will do it anyway? You got to hand it to Obama. He clearly violates the Constitution and he revels in it. From The Hill newspaper:

Two days after defying Republicans and appointing Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, President Obama visited the new agency to take a little time to gloat.

Making a victory lap of sorts at the independent agency, Obama cracked a joke, telling employees that he came by to help their new director move in. . . .

The trip to the agency came just two days after Obama made the surprise decision to appoint Cordray to the agency while Congress was on recess.

Republicans have been running pro forma sessions to prevent such an appointment, and they expressed outrage Wednesday over Obama's decision.

The president, who has made it clear he plans to run against Congress as he maps out a path to reelection, showed Friday that he is interested in keeping the story alive with a visit that seemed to poke at Republicans. . . .

“When Congress refuses to act, and as a result hurts our economy and puts our people at risk, then I have an obligation as president to do what I can without them,” he said.

“I’ve got an obligation to act on behalf of the American people. And I’m not going to stand by while a minority in the Senate puts party ideology ahead of the people we were elected to serve. Not with so much at stake, not at this make-or-break moment for the middle class.” . . .

Something that should be embarrassing for the Obama administration but which isn't getting news coverage:

The two Democrats that President Barack Obama appointed to the National Labor Relations Board during what he considered a congressional “recess” are not on the White House’s official list of Obama’s appointments and nominations for various positions.

Obama referred his two Democratic nominees, Sharon Block and Richard Griffin, to the Senate on Dec. 15. The Senate adjourned for the year – but did not go into an official recess — on the following day.

WhiteHouse.gov tracks the status of all of Obama’s appointments and nominations. Block and Griffin do not appear on that list — a sign that the administration rushed the recess appointments through too quickly for the Senate to even consider them.

“It’s hard to argue that the Senate was obstructing these Democratic nominees when they don’t even appear on the administration’s own list of nominations and appointments,” U.S. Chamber of Commerce labor policy specialist Glenn Spencer told The Daily Caller. . . .

There is a problem that the Obama administration faces.

Article. II. Section. 2. Clause 3: 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 problem is that these vacancies did not arise during the recess. The Senate apparently did not agree with the president that these vacancies constituted an emergency that had to be instantly taken care of. The Senate and not the president also has the power to determine when they are in session.

Other questions are raised by Republican Senators. So can recess appointments be made over a weekend? In the evening after the Senate ends business for the day? From The Hill newspaper:

. . . The letter outlined the history of that precedent, which started with a 1921 opinion from the attorney general that Senate adjournment for two days is not a recess, and that an adjournment of five or 10 days might also be enough. The letter notes that this opinion was reaffirmed in 1960, 1992 and 2001, and that the Department of Justice also argued before the Supreme Court in 2010 that "the recess appointment power can work in — in a recess. I think our office has opined the recess has to be longer than three days."

"Taken together, these authorities by the department clearly indicate the view that a congressional recess must be longer than three days — and perhaps at least as long as 10 — in order for a recess appointment to be constitutional," the letter states.

The letter then asks eight questions about how Justice got around this prior position. For example, it asked whether the original 1921 opinion was withdrawn to make way for the new opinion and whether other opinions were withdrawn.

It also asks whether Justice was asked to render a formal opinion, whether that opinion will be made public, and whether Justice believes this week's decision was constitutional. . . .



Post a Comment

<< Home