When Barack Obama issued his recess appointments of Richard Cordray as head of the CFPB and three nominees to the NLRB, he and the White House blamed Republican obstructionism for the decision to use the extraordinary appointment power. With Cordray, the GOP had unquestionably blocked his appointment. But how about the three NLRB nominees? Not only did the Senate not have time to consider their appointments, the White House hadn’t even had time to add two of them to their list of nominees awaiting consideration:
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.
Bear in mind that the NLRB had fallen one short of a quorum, which means that it couldn’t take any action until the Senate confirmed at least one of the appointments. Obama should have had these appointments to the Senate long before mid-December. Instead, they came so late that even the White House hadn’t had time to update its own records. That exposes the NLRB recess appointments as due to executive ineptitude rather than legislative obstructionism.
Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at [email protected] with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.
Illustrations by Chris Muir of Day by Day. Be sure to read the adventures of Sam, Zed, Damon, and Jan every day!