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This is the Oath of Office the President of the United States takes when he assumes office:
I, <name>, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
Preserving, protecting, and defending the Constitution all imply that the holder of the office will honor the Constitution. Unfortunately, President Obama has recently chosen not to do that.
is reporting today that in a recess appointment President Obama has appointed Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Unfortunately for the President, Congress is technically not in recess.
The article at CNS News points out:
The Senate, in fact, is not formally in recess. It rejected a resolution of adjournment – required by the Constitution to end a congressional session – meaning that the current 112th session of Congress continues. The pro-forma sessions Pfeiffer referred to are short, formal sessions of Congress that typically last a few minutes or less and are not intended to conduct business. They are intended to keep Congress technically in session, specifically for the purpose of preventing the president from making recess appointments.
Both chambers of Congress have held pro-forma sessions every three days, in order to comply with the constitutional requirement that Congress not recess for more than three days during a session without the consent of both houses.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) called Obama’s decision on Cordray a “power grab,” saying that it would devastate the traditional balance of power between the Executive and Legislative branches.
Admittedly the pro forma sessions are part of the game routinely played in Washington. However, up this point, both sides have at least respected the rules.
The article further reports:
Cordray, former Attorney General of Ohio, was nominated over the summer, but was blocked by Senate Republicans who wanted to make the CFPB more accountable to Congress before it began its regulatory work. The Senate rejected Cordray’s nomination on December 8 when it failed to gain enough votes for it to be brought to the floor.
I don’t know what the options are for Congress at this point, but if the Congressmen think the Constitution means anything, I suggest they stand up for it.
Just to add to the confusion, The Hill
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who previously held pro forma sessions to block recess appointments by President George W. Bush, said Wednesday he supported President Obama’s decision to ignore those sessions to push through one of his key nominees.
“I support President Obama’s decision,” he said in a statement.
This is one of the reasons I think most Democrats are sleazy–they have no defining principles–it’s all about politics. There is no respect for the Consitution–it’s all about the party–not the country.