Bipartisanship: No recess appointments for Obama

posted at 8:48 am on September 30, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

When Democrats took control of the Senate in 2007, they began blocking appointments such as George Bush’s nomination of John Bolton to the UN post.  After Bush began using recess appointments to bypass the Senate, Harry Reid began holding pro-forma sessions every few days in order to keep the Senate from going into recess — and to keep Bush from access to the recess appointment mechanism.  Now, with Democrat Barack Obama in the White House, one might expect Reid to allow for recess appointments again, or at least the White House might expect it.

Surprise!

Senate Democrats agreed Wednesday night to a Republican demand to block President Obama from making recess appointments while Congress is out of town campaigning for the midterm elections.

Democratic leaders have agreed to schedule pro-forma sessions of the Senate every week over the next six weeks, a move that will prevent Obama from making emergency appointments, according to Senate sources briefed on the talks.

Democrats agreed earlier in the day to a Republican demand to cut spending levels for government agencies in order to pass a stop-gap spending measure.

Democrats are eager to get back home to defend their record to voters and they couldn’t do that until the spending bill passed.

That wasn’t the only card in play, however.  Mitch McConnell apparently told Harry Reid that his caucus would block all of Obama’s controversial nominees after the recess if Reid didn’t schedule the pro-forma sessions during the recess.  Because of the nature of the hold process as well as the filibuster, Republicans could have kept those nominees from ever getting an up-or-down vote, especially if the GOP manages to pull off a long shot and take control of the Senate in January.

But even that may not fully explain Reid’s retreat.  Obama’s last recess appointment, Donald Berwick, came before Democrats even had a chance to schedule a hearing on his nomination to run Medicare.  The move angered Republicans, of course, but also several Democrats in the Senate who considered it an abuse of the recess appointment power, and an end run around Congressional oversight.

Reid almost certainly didn’t volunteer to hold pro-forma sessions, but obviously Democrats have little interest in protecting Obama’s recess privilege any longer.  This is a very public slap in the face to Obama and his administration, and a message that a President trods on Congressional privilege at his own peril regardless of party affiliation.


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Democrats are eager to get back home to defend their record to voters

Democrats, you are Atlanta and the GOP is General Sherman.

Hot time in the old town, tonight!

NoDonkey on September 30, 2010 at 8:53 AM

REID is a RAT hopefully he can be thrown out . This is the REAL poll , The power is about to shift and now the roughshod methods the DEMS have used over the past 3 years are about to come back and BITE THEM

ELMO Q on September 30, 2010 at 8:55 AM

Dems are being cut at the knees. It’ll be a bloody mess in November….

jbh45 on September 30, 2010 at 8:55 AM

This is a very public slap in the face to Obama and his administration, and a message that a President trods on Congressional privilege at his own peril regardless of party affiliation.

heh

cmsinaz on September 30, 2010 at 8:57 AM

Here’s Hugh Hewitt’s interview with Gloria Allred

http://www.hughhewitt.com/blog/g/c7fb98f4-0782-472e-95a3-76715b95cee1

ninjapirate on September 30, 2010 at 8:57 AM

Congressional demorats = racist

Bishop on September 30, 2010 at 8:58 AM

and now the roughshod methods the DEMS have used over the past 3 years are about to come back and BITE THEM

ELMO Q on September 30, 2010 at 8:55 AM

Yes!

cmsinaz on September 30, 2010 at 9:01 AM

And where’s the budget, O Vaunted and Sacred Leaders of The Most Open, Ethical, Intelligent and Honest Democrat Congress in Human History?

Good Lt on September 30, 2010 at 9:02 AM

For all the complaints against Mitch McConnell, he sure does a fine job at the procedural aspects of the job he holds. This particular decision is a huge win for the country and his keeping his Republican colleagues in line on other key votes is also something we should be greatful for.

glennbo on September 30, 2010 at 9:03 AM

Wow. When Dear Liar loses Prince Harry, you know things are going badly. Bad Carter + Bad Nixon = The Whine.

rbj on September 30, 2010 at 9:04 AM

Looks like Obama is losing his own party. If he thought the first 2 years were tough, he’s not seen anything yet.

milwife88 on September 30, 2010 at 9:04 AM

Democrats in the Senate who considered it an abuse of the recess appointment power, and an end run around Congressional oversight

Jerkoffs just figuring all this subversion out now ??

The avalanche of Czars didn’t clue you idiots in ??

Jerome Horwitz on September 30, 2010 at 9:05 AM

And where’s the budget, O Vaunted and Sacred Leaders of The Most Open, Ethical, Intelligent and Honest Democrat Congress in Human History?
Good Lt on September 30, 2010 at 9:02 AM

Um … the dog ate it? Not buying that, huh?

ya2daup on September 30, 2010 at 9:07 AM

Love the story.

One nit-pick: Trods? I think you mean “treads”. Many people think of “trod” as the past tense of “tread”.

mr.blacksheep on September 30, 2010 at 9:07 AM

Um … the dog ate it? Not buying that, huh?

ya2daup on September 30, 2010 at 9:07 AM

Nah. It was probably racist to pass a budget.

Good Lt on September 30, 2010 at 9:12 AM

Nah. It was probably racist to pass a budget.

Good Lt on September 30, 2010 at 9:12 AM

Because it was not in the black?

NoDonkey on September 30, 2010 at 9:15 AM

Looks like Obama is losing his own party. If he thought the first 2 years were tough, he’s not seen anything yet.
milwife88 on September 30, 2010 at 9:04 AM

Question is, will the ‘rat survivors of November go back to business as usual or lay low with 2012 just around the corner. Regardless, there is going to be some serious triangulation in the next two years: go all in with PBHO or not.

Bishop on September 30, 2010 at 9:16 AM

I saw a story on the Fox News panel yesterday – a lone Senator is blocking Obama’s appointment to head his Budget Committee and huffed “Let him recess appoint him!” he lone Senator is very angry over Obama’s continued off-shore drilling moratorium and she is of course Democrat Mary Landrieu.

Marcus on September 30, 2010 at 9:17 AM

Obama and his “backdoor” meetings are hilarious. He says there has been no tax increases under his watch, but refuses to renew the Bush tax cuts which will be the biggest tax increase in history. He says your insurance premiums will not go up. Anyone who pays a premium knows that is a complete lie. Obama is campaigning because lies and deceptions are all he knows. This could be the longest stretch without a vacation in his administration.

volsense on September 30, 2010 at 9:17 AM

One nit-pick: Trods? I think you mean “treads”. Many people think of “trod” as the past tense of “tread”.

mr.blacksheep on September 30, 2010 at 9:07 AM

While one is trodding they trod in the present tense.

darwin-t on September 30, 2010 at 9:19 AM

No recess appointments, no huzzahs of welcome in back yards … what’s a preznint to do? Golfing vacation, coming right up!

ya2daup on September 30, 2010 at 9:19 AM

I love when the Republicans think ahead. I have to admit that I have been surprised at how much power Congress has been willing to cede to Obama and regulations to be named later in legislation. Congress hasn’t been looking like an equal branch of our government lately.

Cindy Munford on September 30, 2010 at 9:20 AM

While one is trodding they trod in the present tense.
darwin-t on September 30, 2010 at 9:19 AM

The tank was using its treads to trod down the street, carefully treading its treads as it trod forth.

I look forward to Esperanto.

Bishop on September 30, 2010 at 9:21 AM

Jerome Horwitz on September 30, 2010 at 9:05 AM

this is where I think dear leader will just double down, congress schmongress according to him…

cmsinaz on September 30, 2010 at 9:24 AM

Hello, I thought you said the Republicans did something… But I am sure my terminal is on the fritz.

tarpon on September 30, 2010 at 9:26 AM

PBHO will appoint an Appointment Czar who will then make his recess appointments.

See, you have to think out of the box when you want to cram an unpopular agenda down the throats of an unwilling public.

Bishop on September 30, 2010 at 9:27 AM

Where are the jobs?

Where is the recovery?

Where is the trust?

Where is the patriotism?

Mourning in America…..

this country is going to rise up and give stimpy a swift kick in the britches.

ted c on September 30, 2010 at 9:27 AM

Congresschickens.

kingsjester on September 30, 2010 at 9:27 AM

Democrat civil war!!!111!

Seriously, people from his own party agreeing to tie his hands? I’ll bet Obama is getting closer to the top of the list of most despised politicians in DC. This move actually makes me a little bit less nervous about the lame duck session in November…..heh, just kidding.

Mord on September 30, 2010 at 9:32 AM

I guess you can’t say “sivil waaaar” when talking about democrats.

Mord on September 30, 2010 at 9:34 AM

Dems are being cut at the knees. It’ll be a bloody mess in November….

jbh45 on September 30, 2010 at 8:55 AM
//
As for me,I am more than ready to see that happen!

ohiobabe on September 30, 2010 at 9:34 AM

ted c on September 30, 2010 at 9:27 AM

You sure ask a lot of complicated questions!

Signed – the MSM

NoDonkey on September 30, 2010 at 9:40 AM

I wonder what the international implications of a presidential temper tantrum might be?

OhioCoastie on September 30, 2010 at 9:41 AM

This was an excellent push by McConnell.

I am infuriated by the creation of the Consumer Protection agency created by the FinReg bill through which ObaMao did an end-run around Senate approval for the head post in the appointment of Elizabeth Warren. She is an ideologue who belongs nowhere near a supposedly apolitical post. Today’s WSJ comments on her manipulation (lies) to push O-care by claiming that health care caused a record number of bankruptcies. The appointment is just one more bit of evidence of ObaMao’s abuse of power.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704523604575512060220672440.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop

Meanwhile, Waxman wants to push Internet regulation to the power of the FCC because hit pet legislation has hit the skids. The Hill reported on that weasel’s stealth move.

onlineanalyst on September 30, 2010 at 9:41 AM

For all the complaints against Mitch McConnell, he sure does a fine job at the procedural aspects of the job he holds. This particular decision is a huge win for the country and his keeping his Republican colleagues in line on other key votes is also something we should be greatful for.

glennbo on September 30, 2010 at 9:03 AM

Thank you! Though this is much more than a procedural maneuver. Everyone knows that personnel IS policy. Onwe of the only ways left for Congress to have any control over the Executive Branch is through its Constitutional authority to review and approve appointments. Republicans may still not have enough votes to stop legislation but they do have the power to stop further appointments, and as more and more people leave their jobs Obama won’t be able to fill them until he makes some deals with Republicans.

Look for some columns soon by Ezra Klein and Marc Ambinder calling for reform of the appointment process so the Senate can’t hold up a President’s appointments.

rockmom on September 30, 2010 at 9:42 AM

No recess appointments, no huzzahs of welcome in back yards … what’s a preznint to do? Golfing vacation, coming right up!

ya2daup on September 30, 2010 at 9:19 AM

Town hall meetings on the back nine?

Yoop on September 30, 2010 at 9:42 AM

Congresschickens.

kingsjester on September 30, 2010 at 9:27 AM

America’s congresschickenssssssssss………. Have gone home to rooooooooosssssssst!

Lanceman on September 30, 2010 at 9:43 AM

Look for some columns soon by Ezra Klein and Marc Ambinder calling for reform of the appointment process so the Senate can’t hold up a President’s appointments.

rockmom on September 30, 2010 at 9:42 AM

indeed, along with getting rid of the electoral college

cmsinaz on September 30, 2010 at 9:46 AM

If you’re Harry Reid, allowing recess appointments now is an example of minimum benefit for possibly maximum headaches. Why allow Obama to anger the voters even more with another appointee whose past record puts them out of the mainstream of American opinions, when the appointments themselves are only good until the end of the current Congressional term in December?

Reid and some of the others have figured out Obama doesn’t give a damn whether they’re re-elected or not, and if he’s ever going to stop antagonizing the moderate swing voters that got him elected in 2008, it’s not going to be until not doing so affects his own re-election chances in 2012. Better to make a deal now with the Republicans over what amounts to scuttling 90-day appointments, and at least give yourself a sheen of bipartisanship than to allow Obama to make several more appointments that pander to the left wing of the party and further kill your own hopes of remaining in Congress.

jon1979 on September 30, 2010 at 9:51 AM

The cowardly Democrats are complicit in pushing the ObaMao tax increases come January 1. Not voting to extend the current rates and other features of the Bush tax efforts before the Nov. 2 election is just further evidence of the irresponsibility of the Dem caucus and their disdain for the taxpayers, business, and economic growth. A pox on them.

If they think that pushing a lame-duck VAT will be met with positive results, they have misunderstood the fury of the populace.

The passage of Porkulus and O-care through deceit and political payoffs while putting our nation in further debt is criminal. O-care never addressed the waste and fraud of Medicare/Medicaid nor the impending deficit implosion that these underfunded mandates incur. Likewise, the FinReg bill never addressed the roles that Fannie and Freddie played in creating the “need” for further regulation overreach.

I repeat: A pox on them.

onlineanalyst on September 30, 2010 at 9:52 AM

This almost pains me to say, but I can appreciate this consistency from Reid. If he feels recess appointments are sketchy, then they are so regardless of the party in power.

BlueCollarAstronaut on September 30, 2010 at 9:52 AM

Oh believe me, if they thought they had popular momentum going into these elections, the recess appointments would be flowing like a river. But right now, a Congress at recess + Obama making shady appointments = sudden death.

They are skeered – and they should be.

ace tomato on September 30, 2010 at 10:24 AM

Don’t trust any of those politurds. Especially Zero. He’ll just appoint a czar to take away more of our freedom.

Kissmygrits on September 30, 2010 at 10:28 AM


PBHO will appoint an Appointment Czar who will then make his recess appointments.

See, you have to think out of the box when you want to cram an unpopular agenda down the throats of an unwilling public.

Bishop on September 30, 2010 at 9:27 AM

Genius!

golfmann on September 30, 2010 at 10:38 AM

Seems odd that Reid would agree to this, so is Sharon Angle doing better then everyone says?

Lily on September 30, 2010 at 10:39 AM

OT
The tank was using its treads to trod down the street, carefully treading its treads as it trod forth.
2bi 4bi 6 bi great big mo fo that goes varoom varoom varoom n bends in da middle and masheses evething it run ovah wit it’s tracks n blows smoke.Now dat be a TANK.

Col.John Wm. Reed on September 30, 2010 at 10:39 AM

They don’t mind Obutthead having power, but not if it interferes with their power.

I’m personally glad they did it, but I can see Obutthead tossing it aside, and giving himself more power, to do what he dang well pleases!

capejasmine on September 30, 2010 at 10:44 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2eMkth8FWno

Barrack Hussein Obama the Black Knight always triumphs!

dhunter on September 30, 2010 at 11:41 AM

Senate Democrats agreed Wednesday night to a Republican demand to block President Obama from making recess appointments while Congress is out of town campaigning for the midterm elections.

… because it would kill the DEMS for Obama to make recess appointments before this election

It would look like the DEMS are trying to pack gov with people before the public votes a bunch of them out of office.

This is obviously a protest vote election. If Obama moves to recess appoint, it looks like he is back slapping the voters, and the voters will respond at the ballot box

A few recess appointment would help the Republicans

No charity acts here. Looks like the DEMs don’t trust Obama to hold back. I wouldn’t

entagor on September 30, 2010 at 12:54 PM

It doesn’t matter, Obama will appoint who he wants because congress made themselves irrelevant…Obama will appoint them as a czar or advisor

Conservative Voice on September 30, 2010 at 1:36 PM

Love the story.

One nit-pick: Trods? I think you mean “treads”. Many people think of “trod” as the past tense of “tread”.

mr.blacksheep on September 30, 2010 at 9:07 AM

I know it’s nitpicking, but it bothered me, too. I’m glad I’m not the only one who found it objectionable.

According to Merriam-Webster, trod is the past tense and past participle of tread.

tom on September 30, 2010 at 7:05 PM

This almost pains me to say, but I can appreciate this consistency from Reid. If he feels recess appointments are sketchy, then they are so regardless of the party in power.

BlueCollarAstronaut on September 30, 2010 at 9:52 AM

I don’t think it’s consistency, fairness, or charity. I think it’s just a matter of recess appointments right before election day being politically hurtful to the Democrats, and the near certainty that Obama wouldn’t care about Democrat chances, since he doesn’t face election until 2012.

tom on September 30, 2010 at 7:08 PM

PBHO will appoint an Appointment Czar who will then make his recess appointments.

See, you have to think out of the box when you want to cram an unpopular agenda down the throats of an unwilling public.

Bishop on September 30, 2010 at 9:27 AM

You’re not serious.

Obama just might be, though.

tom on September 30, 2010 at 7:10 PM