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Obamas Congressional Test - Michael Tomasky/DailyBeast

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WillyT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-11-11 05:11 PM
Original message
Edited on Thu Aug-11-11 05:23 PM by WillyT
Obamas Congressional Test
If Obama wants to show hes grown a backbone, he should force Congress into recess and make appointments that Republicans have been blocking, says Michael Tomasky.
Michael Tomasky - DailyBeast
Aug 10, 2011 6:48 PM EDT


Ive been wondering lately the same thing as a lot of liberals in Washington: when and how will the president ever grow some backbone? Sure, the post-debt-deal polls show that he came out of the mess looking somewhat less terrible than the Republicans. But he looks weak, and hell keep getting pushed around until he throws down on something. Im planning an occasional series about what that something could be, and heres idea No. 1: force the Congress into recess and make a slew of appointments.

What? Force the Congress into recess? Yes. The president has the power under the Constitution to do exactly that. Read Article II, which is, of course, on the executive branch, Section 3, titled State of the Union, Convening Congress. It states in full about the president that:

He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.

He may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper. Of course, there are caveats. First, it must be an extraordinary occasion. Second, the two houses of Congress must disagree about the time of adjournment. Both can be finessed. On the first point, Obama can actually reasonably argue that the number of presidential appointments held up by Republicans (well get to the numbers in a minute) is so large as to constitute an extraordinary circumstance. On the second, all that would take is for the Democratic-controlled Senate to force a disagreement with the House about when Congress should adjourn.

Too clever by half? Dirty pool? No cleverer or dirtier than whats been going on with presidential appointments, which is a scandal and disgrace and gets almost no media attention. In May, the Congressional Research Service released a report showing the following: CRS estimates that the total number of presidential appointments subject to Senate confirmation is around 1,200. During the 111th Congress (200910), Obama issued 964 nominations. During the current 112th Congress, hes made 174.



Now where have I heard this before... oh yeah:


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Enrique Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-11-11 05:13 PM
Response to Original message
1. i'm telling you
these guys read DU.

nicely done. :toast:
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WillyT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-11-11 06:27 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. LOL !!! - Thanks, But...
Even MY head ain't THAT big.



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BzaDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-11-11 05:21 PM
Response to Original message
2. Aside from looking horrible politically, this is likely not possible if the House doesn't play along
Edited on Thu Aug-11-11 05:22 PM by BzaDem
Why? It says the President can do this only if both houses disagree with the TIME of the adjournment. It does not say the President can adjourn Congress if they both disagree about WHETHER to adjourn.

Think about it. If a President can adjourn Congress when one house does not want to adjourn AT ALL, he can prevent his own impeachment if his party also controlled the Senate. He could just adjourn the House for 2 years. He could likewise prevent any oversight by the House by adjourning them indefinitely. I don't think that is a reasonable interpretation of the clause.

A MUCH better strategy would be to recess-appoint people during a 2 day recess (which the Senate can unilaterally take). There is no minimum recess time in the Constitution, nor is there a court case that establishes one.
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