Will Republicans Finally Impeach Over “Uncertain” Recess Appointment?

Ben Johnson, The White House Watch


President Obama may have gone too far even for the tastes of the Beltway one-party system, when he made a “recess” appointment while there was no Congressional recess. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the appointment of Richard Cordray to serve as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and three pro-union members of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) lands Obama in “uncertain legal territory.” Speaker of the House John Boehner called it “illegitimate.” But will they do anything about it?

“This recess appointment represents a sharp departure from a long-standing precedent that has limited the President to recess appointments only when the Senate is in a recess of 10 days or longer,” McConnell said. “Breaking from this precedent lands this appointee in uncertain legal territory, threatens the confirmation process and fundamentally endangers the Congress’s role in providing a check on the excesses of the executive branch.”

Speaker Boehner agreed, “I expect the courts will find the appointment to be illegitimate.”

Not everyone is offended. Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she is “glad that the president took the lead, went out there. It was bold.”

Bold? Indeed it was, in the same sense as robbing a liquor store in broad daylight.

Todd Gaziano of the Heritage Foundation explained:

[The recess appointment] power has been interpreted by scores of attorneys general and their designees in the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel for over 100 years to require an official, legal Senate recess of at least 10-25 days of duration. (There are a few outlier opinions, never sanctioned by the courts, that suggest a recess of six to seven days might be enough–but never less than that.)

The President’s purported recess appointment of Cordray would render the Senate’s advice and consent role to normal appointments almost meaningless. It is a grave constitutional wrong that Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has already denounced. But it fits a pattern of extra-constitutional abuse by the White House that seems more interested in energizing a liberal base than safeguarding the office of the presidency.

Experts say this kind of non-recess appointment is unprecedented in American history — another historic Obama first.

As Andrew Grossman of the Heritage Foundation has pointed out, even Obama did not really believe the Senate was in recess. This was a plain act of authoritarianism.

Will Congress act? At first blush, one is tempted to say if they stepped aside for an illegal war, a miniature terrorist plot known as Operation Fast and Furious, the miscarriage of justice in the Black Panthers voter intimidation case, the harassment of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, and numerous other offenses, this ranks pretty far down the list.

But that would overlook the one thing this scandal has that the others do not: this one offended senators’ vanity. Senators of both parties relish their reputation as “the world’s greatest deliberative body.” Bob Dole famously joked, “If someone went into the Senate Cloak Room and said, ‘Mr. President,’ everyone would turn-around.” They all believe they are presidents-in-waiting, with the Senate their temporary fiefdom. They cherish the constitutional role of giving advice and consent — which is why the Democrat-controlled Senate went into pro forma session; to preserve their right to examine Mr. Cordray and the three union extremists.

Obama not only trampled on the traditional order; he took away some senators’ privileges. He may have to pay dearly for that. He should have long ago.

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44 comments to Will Republicans Finally Impeach Over “Uncertain” Recess Appointment?

  • Charles W

    She is a perfect argument for term limits, or age limits, or maybe a literacy test for people running for office. Village idiot should not be a qualifying trait. I recommend a security fence a round California.

    • Jim Delaney

      What is lacking is not intelligence. Even slimeballs are intelligent. Honor, duty, principle and character are the missing ingredients.

  • The question "Will Congress Impeach" assumes that there is a collective backbone supporting them. Since there is not, I think that they will let this slide the way they rolled over on continuing resolutions and an ever climbing deficit.

    • emick12

      You are so right on ! ! ! BUT this IS, MOST DEFINITELY AN IMPEACHABLE OFFENSE ! ! !

      • Another thing to remember is that the backbone of the House (or lack thereof) is controlled by the Speaker. In the current case we have a balless wonder named Boner that slides in and out of bed with Obummer and Whorehouse Hairy Reid… impeach Obummer wont happen with Boner as speaker. The last speaker we had with real convictions and backbone was Newt Gingrich. He ushered in the Republican majority of the time.

  • Jon Enigma

    "the Senate’s advice and consent role to normal appointments almost meaningless".
    What this should have said was that Congress is meaningless ! If Obama [or whatever his name is] win's another term, he will make sure of it. What a bunch of worthless wimps !

  • Independentrd

    Obama has done many things that would have resulted in Impeachment for a Conservative president and possibly even almost any other Liberal.

    If he is impeached the results with the public will be dramatic to say the least, but it is long overdue. With Iran reportedly building missile bases on the South side of the Gulf of Mexico and well within range of most any US city East of the Rockies and Obama cutting the military we are indeed at a perilous point in history. As was pointed out on the news last night, Obama is likely to be willing to create an international incident…or worse to stay in power.

  • Frances C.

    It would be aBlessing sent by God if he was sent paking. Pray that he will be.

    • emick12

      Sorry,…. NOT ENOUGH BALLS ON OUR SIDE OF THE ISLE (i.e. "Backboneless" John Boehner and "Mushy" Mitch McConnell ! ! ! It SHOULD happen BUT NEVER WILL ! ! ! Obama will continue to govern in a "LAWLESS" Manner, until someone or some group of someone's says, "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH" ! ! ! BUT NOT UNTIL THEN ! ! !

  • n2trophies

    What is it going to make Americans respond to the obomanation? He has never shown he is eligable to be president; His has trashed our constution; Told our enemies he was sorry for the way America has acted in the past; now he bypasses our governing body; The Republicans caught in a clention trap; If they complain the news media objectes to the complant; The pen is mightier than the sword. The hippies of the sixties went run our government.

  • Rick L

    Our House representative has told us there "is not enough time" to impeach Obama, i.e., it took 18 months to impeach Clinton. Also, the Democrat-run Senate would never convict him of anything. If this article is correct and the Senate would convict him for this transgression on their turf and their vanity, that still leaves the time issue. My guess is this gutless Congress will do nothing other than complain.

    • emick12

      The fact that SOMEONE, ANYONE would have the BALLS to try and IMPEACH the DICTATOR, WOULD DO WORLD'S OF GOOD ! ! ! Probably stop him in his tracks !
      Again, no one has enough BALLS to call him on his "BLATANT LAWLESSNESS" !
      We and particularly CONGRESS has the authority (and VERY GOOD REASON) to do it ! BUT VERY SADLY, THEY WON'T !

  • fordman

    Obama should be impeached for this but more important is he should be impeached because he is not legal to be president as his father was not an America but is a kenyan. This makes him illegal as president as it plainly states in our constitution. This is America and we do not go by any other laws (period.)

  • jlbs

    I do so wish, and pray, that this usurper will be sent packing with his tail between his legs. Alas, knowing the history of this House, I know it isn't going to happen and our country will be sacrificed for the pride of our representatives. I, for one, don't give a good G-damn about their pride. What in the hell are they doing there if they aren't WORKING FOR US. You can all go to hell !!!

  • Jim Delaney

    I emailed and telephoned Boehner's office yesterday insisting that he put an ultimatum to Obama: immediately pull the illegal appointments or face impeachment. Also emailed my congressional rep.My sense is that for parochial, self-serving political reasons neither my rep nor Boehner willl do much more than indignantly denounce this tyranny. Nothing more. A spineless and unprincipled Congress is at the heart of constitutional disorder in which we now find ourselves.

    • AftertheCharge

      Bend over, Jimboy. Your GOP is going to show you how deeply they care about your opinion.

      And by the way, what Obama did was legal. Deal with it, sucker.

  • Kathy

    I think the American people, WE THE PEOPLE should arrest obama and all of his cronnies, including, but not limited to his czars, pelosi, reid, dodd, frank, shummer, grayson, and all of the other "idiots" that drink the cool aid he offers to his "so called friends, including Soros" who we all know is the Puppet Master of our so called president. He is not my president, is he yours???????????

  • Bill7360

    I doubt that our 535 Millionaires and Elitists will do anything. They do not
    want to jepordize their positions.

  • "We The People" Are Going To Have To Take OUR Government Back By Force If Necessary. Ultimately That's Why The Founding Fathers In Their Infinite Wisdom Gave Us, "We The People" The 2nd. Amendment. It's The Ultimate Unialiable Right The Founders Put In The Constitution Because They Reconized It To Be A God Given Right & They Were God Fearing Men. But Obama Is Not. So "We The People" May Just Have To Put The Fear Of God In Him !!

    • Jim Delaney

      Sadly, it may actually come to rebellion. And if that is what is requried to safeguard our liberty, our Constitution, our Republic and our families, "bring it on", and watch the loud-mouthed progressive/liberal vermin scurry away into the dark recesses from whence they came.

  • There was a reason the chicago political machine pushed so hard for Obama as their nominee for President. They were counting on as the historic first Black as president, they could always pull the RACE card. Any criticism of Obama could be countered with the charge of RACISM. With the backing of the mainstream media he will trash the constitution with impunity. It turns out, Obama's performance is so dismal that the Racism charge falls on deaf ears!

  • Bonnie

    FINALLY Impeach!!

    • Bonnie

      Michael Savage answered the question today–"Why are all these laws against us gettin thru?" Because there's 400 Congree against We the People & they're afraid

  • [...] Ronald Reagan’s Attorney General, Ed Meese, has said Barack Obama’s non-recess “recess appointments” have pushed the nation dangerously “close to a constitutional [...]

  • [...] Ronald Reagan’s Attorney General, Ed Meese, has said Barack Obama’s non-recess “recess appointments” have pushed the nation dangerously “close to a constitutional [...]

  • Ted Gager

    By now everyone knows that the illegal POTUS doesn't give a rat's a$$ about anything but his own needs, wants and agenda. As the country suffers their are those that are somehow mezmerized by our multi-national, racially bias, power grabbing, liberty destroying, Pide Piper of gloom and doom. They will go to their deaths claiming that Obama was the best POTUS ever. What a$$holes these people are!

  • Ted Gager

    CONTINUED FROM ABOVE….On the other hand their are those very highly paid officials that are undermined regularly and intensionally by this scumbag and voice their displeasure about it loudly time after time. They continue instead to lick Obama's excrement from our constitution. I wish they would either do what is neccessary to right the many wrongs perpetrated on this nation by this racsist halfbreed or shut the fu(k up already. No one cares about your displeasure. They care about your ability to uphold the law, the constitution and honor your oath of office. Not to kiss Obama's a$$ while you act like you are going to do something that never happens. It's like watching one of those serials that keep you wondering what will happen next and nothing does, that is, until Obama bitch slaps you dopes again. Rick Perry is right. You a$$holes shouldn't be in DC full time. You don't do a blessed thing to warrant it…..

  • Roscoe Bonifitucci

    Forget about the fact Obama is totally incompetent as the leader of a free market economy Representative Republic and a Marxist Thug who is soaked in corruption; he is way out of bounds on this issue of assuming the Senate duties. There are separation of powers enumerated in the Constitution that he has sworn to uphold. The fact he has installed a known communist in Eric Holder to provide the Law-Fare element provides evidence he is systematically destroying the Union. Obama needs to be Impeached now before he does more harm to America and her People.

    • mymisstake

      He has been way out of bounds for some time. Obviously he has shown disdain and contempt for the millions of citizens who are outraged over his throwing open the floodgates to illegals, supplying them everything – of course they wil come how could they not? He once said he would publicize all bills before him before he signed them – five days it would be available for public review. IF he ever did so the time has long past and now he does as he damn well pleases. Don't like it? TOO DAMN BAD.

      Disturbed by what he was doing earlier, it turned to outrage when I read of the border patrol guard who was sent to prison for 2 years while the illegal drug smuggler smuggling ILLEGAL drugs was given immunity to testify against him and that it went so far because someone in Mexico complained the offender had been handcuffed "too roughly". I suppose that works to discourage border patrol agents who risk their lives. It would be. that I risk my life only to be disrespected and betrayed by my government. The evidence was not even there to support the claim but this guard was in prison rather than spending Christmas with his wife and child while this illegal laughs at his good fortune. SOMETHING is WAY OUT OF WHACK HERE.

  • AftertheCharge

    What a sorry bunch of whiners you are. Your little memes about "usurper" and "Marxist" echos around your circle but no one else seems to care about them. Your tantrums have no effect even on your own representatives. You're an embarrassing joke for the GOP.

    • Jim Delaney

      Only a mindless lib would characterize defending the Constitution as a tantrum. Plse keep it up, pal. When the crap hits the fan, we patriots want to be sure we can identify you as one of "them". You have the character and honor of an asp. But, we're accustomed to your browbeating and verbal bullying. But, again, please keep it up.

      • mymisstake

        People like this disrespect the lives lost of all those who gave them in service to the defense of our country. Whether or not the military action was judged proper or not – the fact is they sacrificed everything so that this fool could give it all away. It doesn't get much more disgraceful than that. Every war fought by this country and the soldiers who died in them should not be forgotten.

    • mymisstake

      You can't blame people for calling it what it is. Some choose to not see, to be PC, to give away the keys to our nation. You appear to be one of those. Thankfully there are many of us who see damn well what's going on and do not and will not accept it ever.

  • mymisstake

    Well I hope he is impeached but if so it would be for the wrong reason when there were so many earlier reasons. And it would demonstrate that the people are not top prioriy with our Congress and Senate because they have let our toes be stepped on repeatedly. It's their own toes they watch out for. SAD but true.

  • Stephen

    I "bet" one million dollars that IF Mitts gets into the White House that he "will not" have Obama investigated to be accountble for anything.

  • George_S

    One must take into consideration the fact that the Senate is controlled by the President's party. A party which would not convict upon hard evidence that the President Clinton had committed a crime (perjury) will not convict the leader of their party who has not been convicted of a crime. The question is whether the attempt to impeach should be pursued despite the unlikeliness that conviction will follow. On the one hand, it may increase the negative perception of the President, but the alternative possibility is that it would arouse sympathy for "a President who is harassed by his opponents." I think the best policy is to hold (legislative) fire and save it for the election.

  • edna bowden

    What i n the hell is wrong with the citizens of our beloved country? He is not a USA citizen, so what are we afraid of? He is a dictator and is following the Hitler regeim. He has taken away our religious freedmom to speak and acknowlede our God and give thanks to our country by praying and saying the Pledge of Allegiance to our country. He is a Muslin and they will overtake our great country.

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  • I do not know Not-PC that people who recognize an abuse of power are stupid, should sit down and be quiet, or are a bunch of morons. I believe intelligent people see this for the abuse it is. Recess is a legislative function, not an executive one. It is up to the Legislature to determine when they are in recess, not the President.

    President Obama has recently abused the power of recess appointment to appoint Richard Cordray to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and to the National Labor Relations Board Deputy Labor Secretary Sharon Block, union lawyer Richard Griffin and National Labor Relations counsel Terence Flynn to fill vacancies on the five-member board.

    The Constitution states that a recess appointment must be made during a recess of the Senate (Article II Section II US Constitution). A pro forma session of the Senate is not a recess. Even the Senate’s own publication on recess appointments states “pro forma sessions, which are short meetings of the Senate or the House held for the purpose of avoiding a recess of more than three days and therefore the necessity of obtaining the consent of the other House.” (Page 10 and 11 from: http://www.senate.gov/CRSReports/crs-publish.cfm?… )

    The same Senate publication further states “On November 16, 2007, the Senate Majority Leader announced that the Senate would ‘be coming in for pro forma sessions during the Thanksgiving holiday to prevent recess appointments.’ ” (Page 11 ibid)

    Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story, who was appointed under President Madison, stated in his Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States “The language of the clause is, that the president shall have power to fill up vacancies, that may happen during the recess of the senate. In 1813, President Madison appointed and commissioned ministers to negotiate the treaty of peace of Ghent during the recess of the senate; and a question was made, whether he had a constitutional authority so to do, there being no vacancy of any existing office; but this being the creation of a new office. The senate, at their next session, are said to have entered a protest against such an exercise of power by the executive. On a subsequent occasion, (April 20, 1822,) the senate seem distinctly to have held, that the president could not create the office of minister, and make appointments to such an office during the recess, without the consent of the senate. By ‘vacancies’ they understood to be meant vacancies occurring from death, resignation, promotion, or removal.. If the senate are in session, when offices are created by law, which have not as yet been filled, and nominations are not then made to them by the president, he cannot appoint to such offices during the recess of the senate, because the vacancy does not happen during the recess of the senate. In may instances, where offices are created by law, special power is on this very account given to the president to fill them during the recess; and it was then said, that in no other instances had the president filled such vacant offices with the special authority of law.” (Section 1553)

    Justice Story’s comments above point out that Richard Cordray’s illegal appointment to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau would be doubly illegal, since this office is a newly created office.

    The President willingly made the appointments knowing that the Senate was not in recess, but by an arbitrary opinion which had complete and utter lack of respect for the actual legislative process of recess, he went ahead and illegally made the appointments. This is apparent by his statement, through his spokesman, “‘the president’s counsel has determined that the Senate has been in recess for weeks and will be in recess for weeks.’”. This distorted opinion violates the legislative process of motion for recess, which had not happened. Recess is noted as a legislative function in rules such as Roberts Rules of Order Revised, Section – Take A Recess.

    This is an outrage, and is added to the list of other abuses (one such being the misuse of the war power act in staying in Libya beyond 90 days without Congress’ declaration) that this president has engaged in and which congress continually looks past.

    Both houses of congress should take the following action: 1. Take legal action against the President, 2. Defund the payment of these illegal appointees, and 3. Senators should encourage House counterparts to introduce articles of impeachment for this offense and carry the impeachment forward when the hearings come to the Senate – if the president does not make a rectifying action on his own by acknowledging his appointments as inappropriate and null.
    House members should introduce articles of impeachment for this offense – if the President does not make a rectifying action on his own by acknowledging his appointments as inappropriate and null.

    Individuals should consider writing to their Federal Representative and their Federal Senators. If you are interested, you can contact your Representative and Senators from this page:
    http://www.bcsig.org/contact-elected-officials.ht

  • [...] Tweet President Ronald Reagan’s Attorney General, Ed Meese, has said Barack Obama’s non-recess “recess appointments” have pushed the nation dangerously “close to a constitutional [...]

  • mark las vegas

    i cannot believe how spineless this congress is and how affraid of this traitor they are. everytime i turn around he is breaking more laws and going around the constitution. i am almost numb about this mans hate of America and lack of respect for our country! i have just seen a series of pictures of this lowlife scum sitting in various rooms in the White House and has his FEET on the FURNITURE!!!!!!!!!!! how much more disrespectful can this man get??????? GET HIM GONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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