By a super-majority, overriding filibusters, the House and Senate voted to create this new agency to protect consumers from deceptive and predatory lending practices. The full powers of this regulatory body could not be implemented, by legislation, until a Director was in place. The losing opposition members of Congress, bolstered by a huge lobbying effort from Wall Street, vowed never to allow anyone to head the agency. In an unprecedented move, they blocked the nomination process from taking place, not because of Mr. Cordray's qualifications, but to prevent the law from being implemented. The US Senate is in recess now, but to head off a possible recess appointment over the holiday break, a handful of Republican's in the House have been gaveling the empty chamber into session for 30 seconds every three days to claim that Congress is not officially in recess.
IBD characterizes these actions this way: "The GOP-majority House has been keeping Congress in session, using its lawful power to prevent Obama from steamrolling someone into the CFPB position outside the usual Senate confirmation process..."
IBD could have called for action to bring the constitutional questions before the Judiciary, but chose instead to go straight to impeachment talk knowing all impeachment actions are initiated in the House of Representatives, the same chamber that started all this mischief. Would this current House of Representatives be capable of impartially judging their own contributions to a constitutional crisis? High crimes and misdemeanors... here we go again. Let's hope not!
Obama's Recess Appointments: An Impeachable Offense?
Constitution: President Obama's nonrecess "recess appointments" can't be excused as over-the-top electioneering. This president has crossed over from socialistic extremism into lawlessness and, perhaps, impeachability.
The U.S. Constitution established a strong presidency — so strong that even one of the most esteemed founding fathers, Patrick Henry, worried it would be kinglike. But this week saw a president exceed even those broad constitutional powers because doing so fits his election-year narrative of a "do-nothing Congress" so well.
Now we have the makings of a banana republic, where the rule of clearly written constitutional law is compromised by a ruler's subjective whim.
The Constitution is crystal clear on the recess appointment authority of the president.
"The president shall have power," Article II, section 2 states, "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."
The Senate has not been in recess. And Congress' authority over when it is and isn't in recess is no small matter of parliamentary procedure. Rather, it is a power the Framers explicitly bestowed in Article I, Section 5:
"Neither House, during the session of Congress, shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days."
Yet Obama on Wednesday, with no recess in effect and against the publicly stated position of his own Justice Department, made four "recess appointments."
The GOP-majority House has been keeping Congress in session, using its lawful power to prevent Obama from steamrolling someone into the CFPB position outside the usual Senate confirmation process because, as House Speaker John Boehner explained Wednesday, "the agency it heads is bad for jobs and bad for the economy."Former Ohio attorney general Richard Cordray was named head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — a new, intrusive federal agency established last year by the Dodd-Frank law — and three spots on the National Labor Relations Board were filled.
Some may say these are small-potato government jobs not worth a big confrontation. But if a president can trample the Constitution on these appointments, the door opens for similar abuses of power with Cabinet secretaries and judicial nominations.
As Boehner warned, "The precedent that would be set by this cavalier action would have a devastating effect on the checks and balances that are enshrined in our Constitution."
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., until recently agreed with the Obama and Clinton Justice Departments — and with just about every other legal expert, liberal, conservative and middle of the road — that presidents have to wait for Congress to be out of session three days before legally making a recess appointment.