Skip to comments.Obama's 'abuse of power' threatens to shut down Senate
Posted on 01/06/2012 11:40:30 AM PST by Lucky9teen
Key Republican Senators are bracing for legislative battles and Constitutional challenges to President Barack Obamas unprecedented end-run around Congress to install several controversial political appointees.
Obama announced the decision Wednesday to make the so-called recess appointments -- even though the Senate is not in recess -- putting Richard Cordray in charge of a contentious new consumer protection agency and also naming three appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Sharon Block, Richard Griffin and Terence F. Flynn.
Business as we know it in the Senate is over for this administration in terms of accomplishing anything legislatively or finding any cooperation from this side of the aisle, said Sen. John Barrasso (R. Wyo.). He has poisoned the well.
Apparently, advise and consent called for in the Constitution doesnt apply to this Chicago-style politician. Hes more interested in rewarding his friends than living under the law Americans need to abide by, Barrasso said.
The Constitution allows the president to make recess appointments, but the controversy in this case is whether or not the Senate is in recess.
I believe its an abuse of power. Now he is saying hes above the law -- the law doesnt apply to him, Barrasso said.
Republicans have kept the Congress in a pro forma session, gaveling in for a few minutes of official business every three days. Its a tactic that was used by Democrats during the Bush administration to block recess appointments. Additionally, Obamas own Justice Department argued before the Supreme Court in 2010 that Congress is not in recess unless its absent for more than three days.
Republicans say they are frustrated because Obama did not nominate the NLRB picks until last month -- just two days before the Christmas holiday -- allowing no time for the Senate to hold hearings.
Meanwhile, Senate Democrats have stalled the confirmation of the lone Republican nominee for the labor board, Brian Hayes, since July 2009.
Another contentious factor in Obamas maneuver, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau created by the Dodd-Frank Act, requires that the new director be confirmed by the Senate, so Cordrays appointment puts the agencys legal authority in limbo.
I dont think he has the full authority to run this agency, said J.W. Verrett, an assistant professor of law at George Mason University and a senior scholar at the Mercatus Center.
The presidents decision is a purely political one, and not about consumer protection, Verrett said. In fact, hes sacrificed consumer protection. Hes more interested in being tough on Congress than being tough on predatory lenders.
Sen. Mike Lee (R. Utah), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said these actions were not ordinary recess appointments but egregious and inexcusable acts of a president who thinks hes above the law.
As a matter of raw political force, can he do it? He just did, Lee said.
I think the president wanted to pick a really big fight, and he has surely chosen one, Lee said. This is a direct affront to the American people and the constitutional system of government that we have.
Republicans are hesitant to give away their game plan on how they will respond to Obamas move, but Lee suggested that Congress could withhold the salaries for the new federal appointees.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R. Ky.) said Obama upped the ante and set a terrible precedent that could allow any future president to completely cut the Senate out of the confirmation process, appointing his nominees immediately after sending their names up to Congress.
This was surely not what the framers had in mind when they required the president to seek the advice and consent of the Senate in making appointments, McConnell said.
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R. Utah) said Obama made the appointments to placate his big labor allies, but that it might not be enough to save him come Election Day.
The president put his own political future and the radical views of his far-left base ahead of constitutional government. The president will have to answer to the American people for this power grab," Hatch said.
Vincent Vernuccio, a labor policy lawyer with the Competitive Enterprise Institute, said the NLRB appointees are a gift to Obamas labor backers, and that Griffin comes to the board directly from a labor union.
The vacancies on the Board have occurred because Obama has insisted on nominating pro-union ideologues too controversial to pass Senate confirmation, Vernuccio said.
Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, congratulated Obama on overcoming what he called Republican obstructionists.
Working families and consumers should not pay the price for political ploys that have repeatedly undercut the enforcement of rules against Wall Street abuses and the rights of working people, Trumka said.
IMO, the best way to challenge this Traitor is to just send him packing. There really is NO excuse for the crap he's pulling and they should either FORCE him to resign or impeach and remove him IMMEDIATELY.
IF Boehner had any testicular fortitude, he’d simply not schedule a joint session with the Senate for Barry’s State of the Union.
Pure, unadulterated, 100% Bravo Sierra!
The stupid party will cave. The stupid party will give 0 what he wants. They always have, they always will.
Brasso should not pretend he has a set when he has been grabbing his ankles for the last three years.
The Senate and Congress are NOW Eunuchs.
They are impotent and collecting salaries to the time of some $174,000+ all the bene’s and perks of their office, using money they have looted from the American Taxpayer!
For what benefit to the good citizens who toil everyday and allow this government serious powers to confiscate 1/2 our labor?
They could at least do is a favor and go home so they do less damages to this country, while his highness acts out his imperious agenda.
Here is yet ANOTHER example of Republican talking tough but, I would be willing to bet, doing NOTHING!
I’ll be from Missouri on this one.
We the people are not in any position to do anything about him other then vote him out. They are the only ones in position to stand for the rule of law and rein him in and they just don't seem to have enough balls to do the job. And the Obama regime is counting on that.
McConnell needs to tack slightly, avoid a direct spitting match with barry and go after Reid. Broaden this debate and highlight the fact that dims don’t think rules/laws are for them. He can do that by insisting that the senate dims present a budget. No budget, no senate business. That is what the dims would do if the GOP was in power. Let harry and barry explain for a week or two why they are not required to follow the law once it is proven the senate was not in recess.
Key Republican Senators are bracing for legislative battles and Constitutional challenges
They sure as hell better...this crap cannot be allowed to stand.
I suggest that a sizeable number of us plan on doing a victory lap around the WH on Nov 7 after this clown is DEFEATED!
Yeah, but what does the ass-kissing, on his knees (and not kissing Dear Leader's ring, but we'll skip the hoary details) super-wuss, RINO-Extraordinaire, Mitch McConnell say?
Bet he's hiding under his desk and when he finally does comment, look for so much backpedalling that he could navigate the most intense rapids....backwards.
Republicans fault. /s
How about the "rights of working people" not to be FORCED to join slimy, corrupt, democrat-money-laundering ASS$*LE Unions?
This kind of garbage needs to be incarcerated for LIFE, along with all his cronies, and every Member of THIS CORRUPT/Communist Administration. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I share your frustration, however, since the constitution requires the vote of two thirds of the Senate (67 members)to convict on impeachment, that is not in the cards. Democrats control the Senate and there is virtually nothing Obama could do that would cause them to remove him.
These Rpubs remind me of seagulls all they can do is squawk and $hit
Maybe that's exactly what Obama wants.
"You no play ball with me. Ok. I'll just rule by Executive Order. And, Oh...by the way...the Senate is dissolved. I'll take it from here."
They can’t cave. They won’t be in office if they do. Who will go out to vote for them? They know this as well as you and I. Obumbler made a serious strategic error in putting their backs to the wall on this.
0bama is acting like an alcoholic, the ultimate narcissist.
Figure out someone else’s boundaries, step over them, and
if challenged, claim the other side is being unnecessarily combative.
If not challenged, he’s gained ground and looks for the next boundary to squash.