02.01.2012 1

Senate should block all nominations until fake ‘recess’ appointments resign

By Rebecca DiFede — Why does the Senate put up with so much abuse?

On Jan. 4, much to the surprise of Congress, President Obama made four supposed “recess” appointments — three to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and one to the Consumer Financial Protection Board (CFPB) — without confirmation by the Senate.

The Constitution specifically states that in order for the president to make a recess appointment, the Senate must actually be in recess and therefore unable to accept nominations. At such a time it is the president’s duty to fill any vacancies during the Senate’s absence with recess appointments.

However, as it turns out, the Senate was not in recess. There were still plenty of officers left to take nominations, and since three of the appointees hadn’t even completed the mandatory Senate questionnaire prior to their appointment, the entire process was entirely illegal on the part of the president.

The wording in the Constitution is quite clear about the rules for Houses going into “recess” and the corresponding “recess” appointments. President Obama’s blatant disregard for this “advice and consent” clause sets a dangerous precedent for his possible second term.

If Obama is acting this way so close to election day, what is there to stop him from continuing to flagrantly pick and choose which laws he plans on following should he be reelected? Having to never again face the wrath of the voters, he would then be free to act unhindered for another four years.

By doing this, he is confidently telling the voters that he can appoint anyone to any position, at any time, without the consent of the Senate.

And the Senate should not put up with it any longer.

In a letter released on Tuesday by Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson and over 50 other organization leaders, Wilson encouraged Senators to “use your standing as members of the Senate to prevent the consideration and approval of any further nominations unless and until President Obama secures the resignations of the individuals he unconstitutionally appointed earlier this month.”

Only if there is a price to pay for Obama’s flagrant violation of the Constitution will it this be put to a stop.

The president’s disregard for the rule of law is deplorable to say the least, and causes quite a concern for the future. Hopefully the Senate will heed Wilson’s warning and force Obama to reconcile what he’s done and succumb to the system of checks and balances that are instrumental to the success of America.

Rebecca DiFede is a contributing editor to Americans for Limited Government.

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