Says the Hill:
Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) announced Monday that on Feb. 15, his committee will explore the constitutionality of the president’s move, accusing him of wrenching the Constitution out of shape and setting a “dangerous precedent” for future administrations.
Republicans were incensed when the president decided earlier this month to circumvent Senate confirmation and recess appoint three nominations that had been subject to GOP opposition. A particular point of ire was the fact that the president ignored the brief pro forma Senate sessions pushed by the GOP in a specific attempt to block such appointments.
“The President cannot unilaterally decide to rush through ‘recess appointments’ while the Senate is not in recess,” said Smith. “Doing so threatens the oversight powers of the Senate and the separation of powers that is fundamental to our Constitution.”
Obama used the appointments to pack the National Labor Relations Board after the departure of recess-appointed labor lawyer Craig Becker, and installed Richard Cordray to head the controversial Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a new bureaucracy created by the Dodd-Frank legislation but which has been challenged because the legislation leaves it largely unaccountable.