Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, has requested that Attorney General Eric Holder weigh in on the legality of President Obama's recess appointment of Richard Cordray as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Bachus is also asking if Holder's office played any role in planning the Jan. 4 recess appointment.
In a letter to Holder, Bachus wanted to know if the Department of Justice was asked by the White House to provide input on the Cordray appointment. If such input was sought, Bachus requested ‘copies of any documents reflecting such input or advice, as well as copies of any communications between the department and the White House that relate to the president's authority to appoint Mr. Cordray without receiving the advice and consent of the Senate.’
Bachus also asked for Holder's input on whether the president had the authority to make a recess appointment while the Senate was still in pro forma sessions without formally adjourning for recess. Bachus asked for Holder's response by Jan. 20.
Separately, eight Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee sent a similar letter to Holder, asking whether the Justice DepartmentÂ played any role in advising the White House on the Cordray appointment.