Dear Friends,

Back when President Obama appointed an army of czars, I wrote to you about the overreach by this administration.  This week, the President made another major overreach that you should be aware of. 

While the President has the ability to appoint senior members of the executive branch, many of these appointments require Senate approval.  To get around the Senate approval process, the President has the authority to make what are known as “recess appointments.”  These appointments are often made toward the end of the year and used for a President’s most controversial nominees.  Every President has used this authority and every President has been criticized for it because it bypasses the vetting and approval process used by your elected officials in the Senate. 

On January 4th, President Obama made several recess appointments.  The problem with these particular appointments is that Congress technically was not in recess.  The Senate – which is constitutionally obligated to approve Presidential nominees – was in pro forma session.  This means the President completely ignored the fact the Senate was in session and made his so-called “recess appointments” anyway.  

He appointed Richard Cordray as Director of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and three new members to the controversial National Labor Relations Board.  The President justified his move by blaming Senate Republicans for previously blocking Cordray's nomination because they didn’t agree with the law setting up the consumer watchdog agency. 

The Constitution clearly states that Senate approval is necessary for these appointments as long as the Senate is not in recess.  The appointments the President made on January 4th are not right and they are not legal.  The one power Congress has to fight back is to withhold funding for these offices until the President follows the constitutional process and either allows these appointees to be approved by the Senate or wait until Congress is actually in recess.

I will continue to keep you informed.



Kay Granger
Member of Congress