Alternate headline — Republicans to Obama: How do you like me now?
U.S. Senate Republicans late Thursday declared victory in their effort to use a procedural maneuver to thwart the president from making any recess appointments during Congress’ Memorial Day break.
Congressional aides say the Senate will not go on a formal recess but instead will technically stay in session, making it highly unlikely that the president would use his constitutional power to make appointments while the Senate is on break. The so-called recess appointments are usually reserved for longer congressional vacations that occur after the Senate has officially adjourned.
A group of conservative Republicans had urged the House to block the Senate from adjourning as a way to prevent the president from tapping his consumer advocate adviser Elizabeth Warren to head the controversial Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a new consumer watchdog agency created by the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul.
With his rampant use of czars and previous recess appointments, and his illegal war in Libya, President Obama has demonstrated a tendency to try and get around Congressional oversight however he can. He seems to have crossed the Rubicon on recess appointments with the elevation of SEIU lawyer Craig Becker to the NLRB, a position Becker has used to attack right to work laws. The Republicans’ move probably blocks the possible recess appointment of Elizabeth Warren to head up the new agency created without debate in the massive finance reform bill. She’s the one who jetted from a House hearing this week, rather than answer questions about her job.