Will Obama squeeze in a few recess appointments?

posted at 1:55 pm on December 28, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

With the Senate mostly gone from Washington, this would usually be the season for Presidents to start making a few end runs around Congress with targeted recess appointments.  Whether or not Barack Obama can do so between now and the return of Congress in late January depends on how one defines a “recess” — and just how motivated Obama might be to risk political blowback in testing his limits.  As I note in my column for The Week today, Obama has plenty of tempting nominations withering on the vine — and plenty of opportunity to cost himself political support no matter what he decides to do on vacation:

Obama has a fight brewing over the National Labor Relations Board and its attempt to impose new union-friendly policies. The term of NLRB member Craig Becker, one of Obama’s previous recess appointments to the NLRB, and one that caused a great deal of anger in the business community, has expired. Republicans in the Senate have held up two other appointments over the new regulations, which means that the NLRB board might not have a quorum. Unless Obama can get the Senate to act quickly to approve one or more of his nominees, the NLRB will not be able to do anything at all.

There would be considerable political risk in the decision to use a recess appointment in this case. Obama’s union allies want recess appointments that will allow the NLRB to promulgate those new, union-friendly regulations, and Obama needs unions to help organize the ground game for his re-election effort. However, the business community that Obama has tried to court all year wants the NLRB’s regulatory adventurism curtailed, and will see a recess appointment as a signal that Obama wants to push the board further along its current anti-business trajectory. Obama risks losing important contributors, and worse, pushing them into the arms of the GOP.

Obama has other opportunities for recess appointments as well. Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) has put holds on two FCC nominations in an attempt to force FCC chair Julius Genachowski to disclose communications between the agency, the White House, and LightSquared, a politically-connected firm that got a controversial waiver from Team Obama. Bypassing the Senate would cut Grassley out of the equation, but it would also contribute to the perception that Obama has something to hide on LightSquared.

Richard Cordray might be a candidate for a recess appointment. Republicans in the Senate blocked his confirmation a couple of weeks ago in a dispute over the structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Earlier this year, Obama had to withdraw the name of his first nominee to run the CFPB, Elizabeth Warren, and the rejection of Cordray undoubtedly rankled the White House, which sees the fight over the CFPB as old news and the block on Cordray as illegitimate.

Republicans think that they have headed off Obama at the pass by getting Harry Reid to allow pro-forma sessions every three or four days during the break.  They argue that no President in the last 20 years has made a recess appointment with the Senate out less than 10 days, which is true … but probably irrelevant.  Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution does not define the length of a “recess” for the purposes of unilateral appointments, and neither does the rest of the Constitution.  Republicans can hope that Obama won’t break with more recent tradition, but Obama could very well use Teddy Roosevelt as a precedent, who made recess appointments when the Senate closed for a single day.

The Congressional Research Service analyzed this question in 2008:

The Constitution does not specify the length of time that the Senate must be in recess before the President may make a recess appointment. Over the last century, as shorter recesses have become more commonplace, the Department of Justice has offered differing views on this issue. Most recently, in 1993, a Justice Department brief implied that the President may make a recess appointment during a recess of more than three days. On at least three occasions, the Senate has used procedural tools to prevent the occurrence of a recess of more than three days for the stated purpose of preventing such appointments: the 2007 Thanksgiving holiday period, the period between the first and second sessions of the 110th Congress, and the 2008 Presidents Day holiday period. In each of these cases, the Senate met in pro forma sessions (during which no business was to be conducted) every three or four days over the course of what otherwise would have been a longer Senate recess. The President made no recess appointments during these periods.

Although President Theodore Roosevelt once made recess appointments during an intersession recess of less than one day, the shortest recess during which appointments have been made during the past 20 years was 9 days. Appointments made during short recesses (less than 30 days) have sometimes aroused controversy, and they may involve a political cost for the President. Controversy has been particularly acute in instances when Senators perceived that the President was using the recess appointment process to circumvent the confirmation process for a nominee who was opposed in the Senate.

In other words, the pro-forma sessions might constrain Obama, but only if he chooses to follow recent precedent.  If he chooses to ignore it, Republicans have no option to block those appointments — but they certainly can use them to paint Obama as an out-of-control executive who wants to rule by decree rather than govern by law.  With a presidential election ahead, that might constrain Obama enough to avoid a recess appointment, but I wouldn’t bet the rent check on it.

Speaking of the NLRB, this video from the Workforce Fairness Institute in September gives an idea of what might be at stake, and why Obama might be tempted to act now to allow the NLRB to maintain its momentum on regulatory adventurism, via my Townhall colleague Kevin Glass:


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Is water wet?

listens2glenn on December 28, 2011 at 1:59 PM

President Precedent does not follow precedent so appoint away and watch the GOP cave as usual.

Kstag on December 28, 2011 at 2:00 PM

Would Barry obey the law? Hahahahahaha

CrazyGene on December 28, 2011 at 2:04 PM

bho has no use for congress or the courts! He has proven this time and time again with ignoring them to do his evil deeds! bho does not give a flying flit if he chaps congress, he is SO above the law of our Republic. I thank the senate r’s for doing their duty on this, just go in daily so bho can’t do his thing?
L

letget on December 28, 2011 at 2:04 PM

Silly rabbit, dear leader has defied precedent since Jan 09

He’ll double down on stupid, guaranteed

cmsinaz on December 28, 2011 at 2:06 PM

Isn’t the House keeping in session to prevent this from happening this time around?

Kini on December 28, 2011 at 2:06 PM

I love how he represents us all! /

herm2416 on December 28, 2011 at 2:06 PM

And the gop elite will sadly do nothing

cmsinaz on December 28, 2011 at 2:08 PM

We’ll have to wait and see on these potential appointments, but I don’t think precedent has any bearing here; he’ll conform to whatever is most pressing.

As for the NLRB- business leaders will surely cave here. They may or may not contribute large to his campaign, but if they’re past contributors, they’ll still contribute. Pay-to-play is the only normal in DC these days.

BKeyser on December 28, 2011 at 2:10 PM

and just how motivated Obama might be to risk political blowback in testing his limits.

Dang, you kill me, Ed.

With such stalwart conservatives as McConnell and Boehner watching his every move, Osama Obama could slide in a recess appointment for Bombin’ Billy Ayers (to the UN, maybe?) and the worst that would happen is someone might make a sharply worded speech. Or not.

Probably not. There’s no one among the commentariat or the greedy, self-important suckers-on-the-public-teat in D.C. to challenge anything the Traitor-in-Chief does.

MrScribbler on December 28, 2011 at 2:11 PM

Will Obama squeeze in a few recess appointments?

Is water wet?

This man has proven time and time again that he doesn’t care what anyone else thinks. He is going to do whatever he wants to do and whatever he can get away with.

ButterflyDragon on December 28, 2011 at 2:12 PM

Crybaby Boehner will hold a press conference and talk a few strong words against barry, then cave, then go back to drinking.

GhoulAid on December 28, 2011 at 2:12 PM

Here’s a thought, the NLRB will force businesses out of the country.
I’m taking Mandarin lessons….

Kini on December 28, 2011 at 2:12 PM

Do bears s**t in the woods? C’mon, Zero has appointed how many czars without Congressional approval? He sees the consent process as nothing more than a petty annoyance, and sny way to stymie it is OK by him.

He is such a small man, and getting smaller every day. Maybe Congress can make a recess appointment of a new President while he’s on vacation.

NOMOBO on December 28, 2011 at 2:14 PM

0bama would never do this, just ask him.

jukin3 on December 28, 2011 at 2:15 PM

Would Barry obey the law? Hahahahahaha

CrazyGene on December 28, 2011 at 2:04 PM

Does the Moonshine, Cigarettes and Fire-stick bureaucracy run guns?

Chip on December 28, 2011 at 2:18 PM

Will 0bama pinch a loaf on a police car?

cane_loader on December 28, 2011 at 2:18 PM

Why not? He’s thumbed his nose at every other division of power.

KyWriter on December 28, 2011 at 2:18 PM

Why wouldn’t he..because he’s so ethical??

Mimzey on December 28, 2011 at 2:19 PM

It’s time for Congress to seize some power back from the executive branch.

Start with this list:

1. Impeach Eric Holder
2. Declare all presidential signing statements to be just that – statements – and devoid of legal weight.
3. Declare that recess appointments may only be made if the recess arose during a recess, and may be made only while Congress is in recess.

Would anyone care to add?

cane_loader on December 28, 2011 at 2:21 PM

Here’s a thought, the NLRB will force has forced businesses out of the country.
I’m taking Mandarin lessons….

Kini on December 28, 2011 at 2:12 PM

Ongoing process.

iurockhead on December 28, 2011 at 2:22 PM

Your Kidding right? To even ask such a question
Does a Bear poop in the woods?

Natebo on December 28, 2011 at 2:22 PM

Crybaby Boehner will hold a press conference and talk a few strong words against barry, then cave, then go back to drinking.

GhoulAid on December 28, 2011 at 2:12 PM

Boehner has nothing to do with it. The Senate handles advice and consent, not the House.

ButterflyDragon on December 28, 2011 at 2:27 PM

…but they certainly can use them to paint Obama as an out-of-control executive who wants to rule by decree rather than govern by law.

Heh, now that’s funny right there. The GOP actually make an argument to the public? And one attacking Obama, no less? You slay me, Ed.

Fabozz on December 28, 2011 at 2:28 PM

Barry will do what will ever benefit Barry. It’s GOOD to be the King!

GarandFan on December 28, 2011 at 2:31 PM

Is the recess appointment a means to a political end and a risk worth taking for Obama to get re-elected? Then he’ll do it. Tradition means nothing to him.

Barack Hussein Obama is a Muslim.

iamsaved on December 28, 2011 at 2:31 PM

How many recess appointments did Bush appoint during his two terms?
Yeah. Be outraged.

BedBug on December 28, 2011 at 2:31 PM

Of course he’ll do it and he’ll throw in some Czar appointments too!

CorporatePiggy on December 28, 2011 at 2:34 PM

Isn’t the House keeping in session to prevent this from happening this time around?

Kini on December 28, 2011 at 2:06 PM

The House has no role in approving executive branch appointments.

DavidW on December 28, 2011 at 2:35 PM

Is Obama a Marxist, lying pile of dung?

Sorry, that was the only thing I could think of that was more obvious than “Is the Pope Catholic?”

The Rogue Tomato on December 28, 2011 at 2:35 PM

How many recess appointments did Bush appoint during his two terms?
Yeah. Be outraged.

BedBug on December 28, 2011 at 2:31 PM

If I recall correctly, the Dems blocked a historic percentage of Bush’s appointments, just because it was Bush appointing them – not on the prospective appointees’ merits.

On the other hand, the Repubs have been blocking 0bama’s appointments specifically because of their radical agendas, not because of 0bama.

cane_loader on December 28, 2011 at 2:36 PM

Would Barry obey the law? Hahahahahaha

CrazyGene on December 28, 2011 at 2:04 PM

Laws are for the little people.

LoganSix on December 28, 2011 at 2:38 PM

If the congress had approved these qualified appointees in the first place there won’t be a need for a recess appointments.
If the GOP keep filibustering left and right on administration appointees across the board, what is president Obama suppose to do?
He’s getting fewer nominees confirmed than Nixon!
The Republicans are acting as if there won’t be a Republican administration in the future. Do you guys think the Democrats won’t do the same to the next GOP president if this becomes the norm.

Salahuddin on December 28, 2011 at 2:40 PM

Do we really want 0bama to appoint another radical to a NLRB that already blocked Boeing from using an already-built aircraft assembly line in South Carolina? Darn right the Senate GOP needs to ride herd on this. And as someone said the other day, they should tell 0bama that if he insists on a recess appointment, then they will block every future appointee for the rest of his term.

cane_loader on December 28, 2011 at 2:40 PM

Elections Coronations have consequences.

BigAlSouth on December 28, 2011 at 2:44 PM

From 2004:

Senate Dems announce they will block ALL Bush nominations.

Senate Dems to Block All Nominations

Published March 28, 2004

FOXNews

All White House nominees will be blocked. That’s right: every single one.

That’s the word from Sen. Charles Schumer’s office, which released a statement on Friday saying that Senate Democrats plan “to hold nominations until the White House commits to stop abusing the advise and consent process.”

Schumer’s release followed a statement by Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., on the Senate floor Friday, in which he vowed to make life difficult for the president’s nominees as long as Bush keeps using his recess appointment power to install the ones Democrats oppose.

“This White House is insisting on a departure from historic and constitutional practices,” Daschle said. “At no point has a president ever used a recess appointment to install a rejected nominee onto the federal bench, and there are intonations there will be even more recess appointments in the coming months.

“We will continue to cooperate in the confirmation of federal judges, but only if the White House gives us the assurance that they will no longer abuse the process, but it will once again respect our Constitution’s essential system of checks and balances,” Daschle said.

Bush did this because the Dems were approving so few of his nominees that many agencies were not able to function due to unfilled positions.

cane_loader on December 28, 2011 at 2:45 PM

If he CAN do it, he WILL do it. This is Chicagoland. Rules? We don’t need no stinkin’ rules!

jnelchef on December 28, 2011 at 2:46 PM

I still savor Bush’s recess appointment of John Bolton as Secretary of State. That was sweet….

cane_loader on December 28, 2011 at 2:46 PM

How many recess appointments did Bush appoint during his two terms?
Yeah. Be outraged.

BedBug on December 28, 2011 at 2:31 PM
If I recall correctly, the Dems blocked a historic percentage of Bush’s appointments, just because it was Bush appointing them – not on the prospective appointees’ merits.

On the other hand, the Repubs have been blocking 0bama’s appointments specifically because of their radical agendas, not because of 0bama.

cane_loader on December 28, 2011 at 2:36 PM

Whatever you say, Harriet Miers. She was so bad, Bush had to withdraw his choice.
Just because you agree with the conservative/republican stance on issues doesn’t mean the rest of us are so easily led.
You oppose Obama on every issue. You don’t look at the merits, you look at the fact that Obama appointed them. Why do you think Obama has to have Czars? He cannot work with the republicans, they would argue if Obama said the sky was blue.

BedBug on December 28, 2011 at 2:48 PM

Salahuddin on December 28, 2011 at 2:40 PM

Why not? They did it to the last one…

affenhauer on December 28, 2011 at 2:50 PM

Why do you think Obama has to have Czars? He cannot work with the republicans, they would argue if Obama said the sky was blue.

BedBug on December 28, 2011 at 2:48 PM

So are you saying that Obama should be able to get what he wants no matter what the other people’s representatives want?

Chip on December 28, 2011 at 2:51 PM

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.

I’m not sure what’s so hard for our Consitutional scholars to understand about this sentence. Recess appointments are only valid for vacancies that happen during recess of the Senate. So if a judge, or a commissioner, or whoever resigns during the recess, the President may appoint a temporary replacement. All other so-called “recess appointments” are unconstitutional.

As another poster said, it’s time for the legislative branch to assert itself and reclaim some of its rightful authority back from the executive branch.

Shump on December 28, 2011 at 2:51 PM

Ongoing process.

iurockhead on December 28, 2011 at 2:22 PM

Yup! And GE still has it profits parked overseas

Kini on December 28, 2011 at 2:52 PM

You oppose Obama on every issue. You don’t look at the merits, you look at the fact that Obama appointed them. Why do you think Obama has to have Czars? He cannot work with the republicans, they would argue if Obama said the sky was blue.

BedBug on December 28, 2011 at 2:48 PM

I oppose 0bama on the merits of issues. So far, he has been so wrong on most of them, that I have ended up opposing him on most of them. But I base my opposition on the issues themselves, not on 0bama’s position on them.

cane_loader on December 28, 2011 at 2:52 PM

A recess appointment evades the advise-and-consent clause. Due to the distance and time it took for Congressmen to travel back and forth to D.C., it was a necessary safety valve, and meant only as such.

I would argue that now, with air travel the clause is not necessary, and to use it as an admitted tool to accomplish an end-around to political opposition is an egregious evasion of the Constitution.

cane_loader on December 28, 2011 at 2:56 PM

BedBug – you are so far into the koolaide that you no longer realize you are drinking it.

Most of us oppose Obama’s position on issues. Generally, we believe in personal responsibility and limited governemnt. Obama believes in almost unlimited government and almost no personal responsibility. So yes, we oppose most of what Obama proposes to do.

We also opposed these ideas when they were offered by anyone else. We didn’t start opposing them when Obama became president.

Cecil on December 28, 2011 at 2:58 PM

Great find cane loader @2:45

Dems get what they deserve

cmsinaz on December 28, 2011 at 2:59 PM

How about we start the new session of congress by funding all the real “musts” — military in the field, border patrol, federal penitentiary, etc. — in one bill for two years. If it passes, that’s off the table. If it’s vetoed — that should be grounds for impeachment.

Follow it up by individually funding the rest of the government piece-by-piece…..and not getting around to the NLRB until, say, 2027. If any of those get vetoed, move on and let that piece wither.

cthulhu on December 28, 2011 at 3:00 PM

The Consitutional amendment process was designed specifically so that we would have the opportunity to change the Constitution to meet the changing needs of the times. This is a perfect, legitimate example of when it should be used.

Recess appointments are a holdover from a day when Congress was infrequently in session, and legislators traveling from around the country to the Capitol had a lengthy journey ahead of them. It was necessary to allow the President to deal with vacancies.

Today, with any destination in the United States mere hours away by plane, and with Congress in session most of the year, there is absolutely no circumstance where a recess appointment is needed. Instead, it has become another executive branch power grab used as a way to get around the advice-and-consent clause whenever the President doesn’t like what the Senate has to say.

It’s way past time for a Constitutional amendment to do away with recess appointments entirely.

Shump on December 28, 2011 at 3:06 PM

How many recess appointments did Bush appoint during his two terms?
Yeah. Be outraged.

BedBug on December 28, 2011 at 2:31 PM

^ Isn’t there a spray for that? ^

KOOLAID2 on December 28, 2011 at 3:11 PM

Look, in a couple of days it will be 2012. Do you really think Obama is going to be worried about breaking precedent in making recess appointments that are going to be seen by some in his base as most gratifying and thus solidifying and motivating that base? Pubbies can make a big fuss about it all they want but without media support to back up that outrage, they’ll be pounding sand!

Bob in VA on December 28, 2011 at 3:13 PM

Yes, If Soros tells him too.

acyl72 on December 28, 2011 at 3:14 PM

You oppose Obama on every issue. You don’t look at the merits, you look at the fact that Obama appointed them. Why do you think Obama has to have Czars? He cannot work with the republicans, they would argue if Obama said the sky was blue.

BedBug on December 28, 2011 at 2:48 PM

The first 2 years Jug Ears had an over-whelming House, a filibuster proof Senate…so “WHY do we think he had to have Czars?” (he could not work with the Republicans?)…
BECAUSE THEY DON’T DRUG TEST PEOPLE WHO POST IDIOTIC BRAIN DEAD STATEMENTS ON SITES WHERE BRAIN CELLS ARE NOT REQUIRED!
…that’s why!

KOOLAID2 on December 28, 2011 at 3:21 PM

Obama would never do such a thing. You’re forgetting that He is a super-smart graduate from a top tier law school, who went on to lecture constitutional law at another top tier law school. Don’t believe me? Just check out his law school transcripts, read his law review articles, and ask a few of his former students. This man knows the constitution backwards and forwards, and probably sideways too.

BedBug knows this to be true and has access to Obamas’ transcripts, letters, and former students. Ask it. Comeon BedBug, don’t leave me hangin.

St Gaudens on December 28, 2011 at 3:28 PM

I am hearing that Cordray will be recess-appointed, but not the others.

There are numerous new powers given to the CFPB that cannot be exercised unitl a Director is in place. And Obama wants Cordray to be able to go out on the campaign trail with him, especially in Ohio. He is just as bad as Elizabeth Warren.

If Obama appoints Cordray, the House should call him in to testify once a week until the election.

rockmom on December 28, 2011 at 3:28 PM

Would JugEars lie, golf, eat junk food, raise taxes, balance the budget, know history, geography, corpsmen, obey any law, control the border,(this could be a never-ending thread…there isn’t enough room etc. etc.) Wait! He’s the 4th best President! No…he would’nt!

KOOLAID2 on December 28, 2011 at 3:30 PM

Will Obama squeeze in a few recess appointments?

I’d say that it has about the same odds as him getting in a round or to of golf………what’s that you say?

Tim_CA on December 28, 2011 at 3:30 PM

“two” even

Tim_CA on December 28, 2011 at 3:31 PM

Why do you think Obama has to have Czars?
BedBug on December 28, 2011 at 2:48 PM

Because 0bama is nothing other than a national agitator and on top of that? He’s not so bright.

Key West Reader on December 28, 2011 at 3:33 PM

Elections Coronations have consequences.

BigAlSouth on December 28, 2011 at 2:44 PM

heh.

Tim_CA on December 28, 2011 at 3:33 PM

BedBug on December 28, 2011 at 2:48 PM
The first 2 years Jug Ears had an over-whelming House, a filibuster proof Senate…so “WHY do we think he had to have Czars?” (he could not work with the Republicans?)…
BECAUSE THEY DON’T DRUG TEST PEOPLE WHO POST IDIOTIC BRAIN DEAD STATEMENTS ON SITES WHERE BRAIN CELLS ARE NOT REQUIRED!…that’s why!

KOOLAID2 on December 28, 2011 at 3:21 PM

Such hate.

BedBug on December 28, 2011 at 3:36 PM

President O does not FOLLOW precedent, he SETS precedent…
because he’s unprecedented!

Marcola on December 28, 2011 at 3:42 PM

I am hearing that Cordray will be recess-appointed, but not the others.

There are numerous new powers given to the CFPB that cannot be exercised unitl a Director is in place. And Obama wants Cordray to be able to go out on the campaign trail with him, especially in Ohio. He is just as bad as Elizabeth Warren.

If Obama appoints Cordray, the House should call him in to testify once a week until the election.

rockmom on December 28, 2011 at 3:28 PM

The danger of theCFPB is there is no oversight by congress.

http://www.conservativeactionalerts.com/2011/09/cfpb-regulationatory-power-to-kill-business/

The CFPB as created by the deeply-flawed Dodd-Frank Act is set to be one of the least accountable and most powerful agencies in Washington. It will have unprecedented reach and control over individual consumer decisions — and an unprecedented lack of oversight and accountability.

That’s why nearly every Republican Senator sent a letter to President Obama stating that they will not confirm any nominee, regardless of party affiliation, to be the Director of the CFPB unless there are BIG structural changes that will make the Bureau accountable to the American people. Under the Dodd-Frank financial regulation Act, the Director is given unfettered authority to regulate businesses that extend consumer credit. Although the Director will also have hundreds of millions of dollars of public money at his or her disposal, no checks and balances are provided on how it is spent.

FLconservative on December 28, 2011 at 3:44 PM

If Obama had any concept of the Presidency or it’s traditions, I’d say that was true. However, he only knows what they talked about in the faculty lounge at Harvard so he might not have enough sense not to make these appointments.

bflat879 on December 28, 2011 at 3:48 PM

Of course not…I mean Harry Reid nicely asked and all..

And we know that there is honor among thieves….well, except for the Liberal kind….

ProfShadow on December 28, 2011 at 4:07 PM

I was listening to that idiot Thom Hartmann on XM/Sirius at work last week. He was insisting that the people in the WH have been talking about this all month, and it was pretty much a done deal.

Of course, next other than Bill Press, Hartmann is without a doubt the dumbest person in radio. But he may be correct on this, and I don’t think Bammy really cares about the blowback from his actons.

PetecminMd on December 28, 2011 at 4:16 PM

Such hate.

BedBug on December 28, 2011 at 3:36 PM

Only………for stupidity!

KOOLAID2 on December 28, 2011 at 4:22 PM

How many recess appointments did Bush appoint during his two terms?

Yeah. Be outraged.

BedBug on December 28, 2011 at 2:31 PM

Wow, you’re up early today. Did Uncle George Soros and Uncle David Axelrod chip in and give you a new alarm clock for Christmas?

As for recess appointments, be outraged about this. Democrat President Bill Clinton made 139 of them in his 8 years. That’s only 32 less than Bush in his 8 years.

And be outraged over the real reason your Dear Leader has had to use recess appointments. Hint: it’s the Democrats’ fault.

From a year and a half ago:

President Obama’s controversial recess appointment of Donald Berwick​ to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services marked the 18th recess appointment he’s made since taking office—more than President George W. Bush at this point in his presidency.

There’s a big distinction, however. Obama had 60 senators caucusing with Democrats for nearly seven months of his White House tenure. He’s had 58 or 59 at other times.

Contrast that with Bush, who took office in 2001 with the Senate split 50-50 and Vice President Dick Cheney​ casting the tie-breaking vote. That lasted less than six months. When former Sen. Jim Jeffords of Vermont stopped caucusing with Republicans, Democrats took control of the Senate. Bush made 15 recess appointments through July 7, 2002.

Obama, who once called recess appointees “damaged goods,” hasn’t shied away from using his presidential power to fill vacancies for important federal posts. And despite large Democratic majorities in the Senate, he’s blamed Republicans for holding up confirmation of his nominees.

-snip-

Obama wasn’t as pointed in his criticism of the GOP when he announced three new recess appointments Wednesday. In fact, he blamed the Senate as a whole, without citing Republicans.

That could be because Democrats were at fault for delaying Berwick’s confirmation. In fact, Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D.-Mont.) never scheduled a hearing for Berwick despite a request from Sen. Charles Grassley (R.-Iowa), the committee’s ranking Republican.

Thanks for Playing!

Del Dolemonte on December 28, 2011 at 4:32 PM

Such hate.

BedBug on December 28, 2011 at 3:36 PM

Is that you, simplesimon?

Del Dolemonte on December 28, 2011 at 4:33 PM

Our republican leaders have disappointed “we the people” or at least this part of the people to the point that I will not cast another vote for any republican that has a history of foolish policy making or caving to Obama or any democrat. ……… These so called leaders that we have in office today are mere wet-backs and blow hards.

RiCkY.D. on December 28, 2011 at 4:49 PM

The Great Odogma uses every opportunity he can to thumb his nose at the constitution. Get used to it.

wtng2fish on December 28, 2011 at 5:00 PM

Is snow white?

Is global warming a scam?

Is Obozo the biggest lyin sack of Sh!% eva?

Is Communism a failed ideology that has led to the genocide of multiple millions of innocent people?

DWoDiego on December 28, 2011 at 6:13 PM

@ Cecil on December 28, 2011 at 2:58 PM

Well said, my sentiments exactly!

OldWeaselKeeper on December 29, 2011 at 7:31 AM

Do wolves howl at the moon?

Do rivers run to the sea?

Does Ford build trucks?

My surprise is that Obama has not yet made the appointment. I guess that double boogie he got on the practice green diverted his attention.

gasmeterguy on December 29, 2011 at 9:22 AM