President Obama will not be able to make recess appointments over the week-long recess to commemorate Memorial Day, after Republicans forced Senate Majority Leader to keep the chamber open for pro forma sessions every three days.
“President Obama has been packing federal agencies with left-wing ideologues, but thankfully he won’t be able to for at least the next week," Sen. Jim DeMint, R-SC, said in a statement emailed to the Examiner. "The House will not be sending an adjournment resolution to the Senate, we will remain in pro forma session, and no controversial nominees will be allowed to circumvent the confirmation process during the break.”
Under the U.S. Constitution, neither chamber can adjourn unless a majority in both chambers agree to it.
On Wednesday, Sens. Jim DeMint, R-SC., and David Vitter, R-La., along with 18 other Republican Senators, sent a letter to House Majority Leader John Boehner, R-Oh., calling on the House to block President Obama from making any recess appointments.
Their concerns became elevated as the weeklong Memorial Day recess approached and Democrats and liberal activists continued to push for Obama to use the break as a pretext to plant Elizabeth Warren on the new consumer financial regulatory board.
Conversations with Republican staff on the Senate side indicated that the House forced Senate Majority Leader Reid's hand by making it clear that they would not agree to an adjournment resolution, although the House leadership itself was cagey when asked to confirm if that was the case.
"The Senate did not pass an adjournment resolution," Michael Steel, spokesman for Speaker John Boehner, R-Oh., said.
When Reid came to the Senate floor on Thursday night, he said the next vote wouldn't be held until June 6th, and Republicans had already indicated they would force a vote on adjournment. That means no adjournment resolution
While the Constitution specifies no minimum number of days required for a recess appointment, a March 2010 Congressional Research Service report referenced a Clinton-era Justice Department brief suggesting it was more than three days
The CRS report also noted that "(a)lthough President Theodore Roosevelt once made recess appointments during an intra-session recess of less than one day, the shortest recess during which appointments have been made over the past 20 years was 10 days."