House, Senate GOP Fight “Recess” Appointments
The House GOP is seeking a way to reverse President Obama's unconstitutional appointment of Richard Condray to the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and three others to seats on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
Meanwhile, nearly 40 Senate Republicans–including Senator John Boozman–say they will sign on to a court challenge arguing that Obama overstepped the U.S. Constitution, even though Obama claimed presidential recess appointment power allowed him to act during the Senate's pro forma session in early January.
"What the president did sets 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," said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who also questioned the legality of the appointments. "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 late January, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, chaired by Representative Darrell Issa (R, California), began looking at options with a panel of lawyers, while acknowledging they would likely not have legal standing to bring suit.
“You have my assurance that I and my Republican colleagues will continue to explore and attempt to exhaust every available option,” Senator Mike Lee (R, Utah)–a former attorney with appellate and Supreme Court experience–outlined these other options for the GOP:
- Use the appointments in the upcoming election.
- Congress can defund the NLRB.
- Congress can pass legislation giving it control over Consumer Bureau funding.