Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson joined his Republican colleagues and cosponsored a resolution disapproving of the president’s recent appointments because of the manner in which they were made. There are currently 71 other cosponsors of this resolution, which was introduced today.
“Not only do the president’s sudden appointments made while Congress was not in session break a long standing precedent, but, they fly in the face of the Constitution,” said Congressman Mike Simpson. “The Constitution clearly states that, ‘Neither House, during the Session of Congress, shall, without the Consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other Place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting,’”
Under the Constitution, presidential appointments must be approved by the U.S. Senate. While the president has the power to make appointments while Congress is in recess, these particular appointments were made while the Senate was in pro forma session and when the House had not consented to an adjournment.
“I have long been an advocate for and believe in regular order for Congress. I appreciate and respect the rules that our forefathers put forth in order to allow the people to have a voice,” said Simpson. “In that respect, I also believe that the Executive Branch has the same obligation to abide by the rules and procedures lined out by our Founding Fathers in the Constitution. The Constitution sets out a clear process of checks and balances for presidential appointments that ensures that one branch of government does not become too powerful, and I am deeply concerned that the president seems intent on ignoring constitutional precedent.”
The resolution addresses the so-called recess appointments of the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and three members of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). In particular, Senate Republicans have held up the nomination of the Director for CFPB because of concern that the newly created agency is unaccountable to elected officials and not subject to the appropriations process.
President Obama only indicated his intent to nominate the three members of the NLRB board on December 15, 2011—two days before the Senate adjourned for the holiday. Thus, the Senate has not had the opportunity to even hold hearings to consider the President’s NLRB appointments.