President Obama will use a recess appointment to install Richard Cordray as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Dan Pfeiffer, White House communications director, used the White House blog to announce the appointment and condemn Senate Republicans for not allowing the nomination to proceed to a vote.
‘The Constitution gives the president the authority to make temporary recess appointments to fill vacant positions when the Senate is in recess, a power all recent presidents have exercised,’ Pfeiffer wrote. ‘The Senate has effectively been in recess for weeks, and is expected to remain in recess for weeks. In an overt attempt to prevent the president from exercising his authority during this period, Republican Senators insisted on using a gimmick called 'pro forma' sessions, which are sessions during which no Senate business is conducted and instead one or two Senators simply gavel in and out of session in a matter of seconds.Â
‘But gimmicks do not override the president's constitutional authority to make appointments to keep the government running,’ Pfeiffer added. ‘Legal experts agree. In fact, the lawyers who advised President Bush on recess appointments wrote that the Senate cannot use sham 'pro forma' sessions to prevent the president from exercising a constitutional power.’