• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Members of Congress React to Obama's Abuse of Power

    The White House announced today that President Barack Obama plans to attempt a “recess appointment” of Richard Cordray to direct the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, in addition to three recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board — and that’s despite the fact that Congress is not officially in recess, as required by the Constitution.

    It’s a move that Heritage’s Todd Gaziano called a “tyrannical abuse of power,” and it’s one that has Members of Congress up in arms. Here are some of their responses:

    Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH):

    This is an extraordinary and entirely unprecedented power grab by President Obama that defies centuries of practice and the legal advice of his own Justice Department. The precedent that would be set by this cavalier action would have a devastating effect on the checks and balances that are enshrined in our Constitution.

    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY):

    This recess appointment represents a sharp departure from a long-standing precedent that has limited the President to recess appointments only when the Senate is in a recess of 10 days or longer.

    Breaking from this precedent lands this appointee in uncertain legal territory, threatens the confirmation process and fundamentally endangers the Congress’s role in providing a check on the excesses of the executive branch.

    Congress has a constitutional duty to examine presidential nominees, a responsibility that serves as a check on executive power. But once again, the President has chosen to circumvent the confirmation process.

    Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT):

    This is a very grave decision by this heavy-handed, autocratic White House.  Circumventing the Senate and tossing out decades of precedent to appoint an unaccountable czar to appease its liberal base is beneath the Office of the President.  The legislative branch exists as a check and a balance on the Executive.  By opening this door, the White House is saying it can appoint any person at any time to any position it chooses without the advice and consent of the Senate.

    This is not how our Republic was designed to function. The American people deserve to be treated with more respect than this White House is affording them with this blatant power grab.  Senators of both parties should be deeply troubled the President’s actions today – actions which will come back to haunt them.

    Senator John Cornyn (R-TX):

    Today’s appointment of another unaccountable czar is an arrogant abuse of presidential power.

    We are left to wonder why the president is unwilling to work with Congress to adopt common-sense improvements in accountability and transparency that would protect small businesses from more job-killing regulations and red tape.

    Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX):

    The President has taken an unprecedented step: he has bypassed Congress to appoint a nominee, previously rejected by the Senate, to lead an agency with significant powers and no accountability to the American people.

    Posted in Legal [slideshow_deploy]

    14 Responses to Members of Congress React to Obama's Abuse of Power

    1. voiceoftherepublic says:

      They are voicing things we already know. So, STOP HIM NOW! It has been going on for far too long!
      Do you want a crazy man to prove just how crazy he really is?
      History tells us how THAT strategy worked!

    2. This truly is amazing when compared to American history, but it's not at all surprising given that it's Obama doing this. He truly is a Socialist and I believe that we haven't seen anything yet, the closer it gets to election day things will get worse. Expecially if he's way behind in the polls, because he'll try to cram his agenda before his term is over. But on the other hand if he wins re-election, he'll have 4 more years to finish his job and transform us into a full fledge Socialist State.

      Nobody in our government is stopping this tranformation of our country, the speaker of the house and others in the Republican Party say the right things, but no one is stopping Obama. We need a new Speaker in the House whose willing to go toe to toe with Obama. Look at the way Pelosi was fighting when she was Speaker. I don't agree with her policies, but she had a pair, our Speaker doesn't.

    3. ml brodzik says:

      This action by the president is consistant with "change". Why is it hard to grasp, Republicans in Congress? He has not hidden his objectives from the start. Please; do something about it. He becomes more bold, daily when no one stands up to him. And, how about doing something about Holder in the Fast and Furious case? He should be out of there and I, a citizen, cannot do it.

    4. Amy says:

      So, they've written strongly worded letters… And then this will just be swept under the rug and forgotten, like usual.

      If the legislative branch won't keep the executive branch in check, then our Constitution isn't worth the paper it's printed on.

    5. NewJerseyJoe says:

      Lots of complaints from GOP lawmakers — but not one comment about what they plan to do about it. A new, Tea Party-filled Congress would put a stop to these crimes — but there may not be a Congress left by November, at this rate.

    6. steve h says:

      I'm glad Obama did it and stood up to GOP hypocrisy. Reagan made over 240 recess appointments. Bush Jr made over 170 recess appointments. Obama has done less than 30 and of course, the right wing is screaming abotu abuse of power. Got to love it.

      • Doug says:

        What college did you graduate from? It is obvious that you don't care about what has happened here. This is a blatant violation of law. Do you want a president or a king? Do you even know what our people went through to get rid of a king? Get a history book, please!!!

    7. Jeff, Illinois says:

      Yes, well if the GOP would have been willing to work with the President on anything, he would not have been "forced" to test the structure. Beside the anticipated rhetoric from the GOP, what exactly are these appointees about? Oh yeah . . to protect consumers, by appointing a head to a commission that had already been approved. The GOP is completely disingenuous! They simply want to block the present administration from accomplishing anything that might help the middle class PERIOD! And if they really have a problem with the president's actions they have the right to raise the issue in a court of law. But they will never do that, because they're going to want to do the same thing when / if they ever gain the White House.

      • Jeff, Illinois says:

        The only honest thing about this article is that it didn't dare distort the notion about making appointments during a recess period in general, because the last administration had made hundreds during such times. The difference is that the present congress is playing a different game than in the past. They're more than bending the rules to avoid keeping the Senate from an official recess. The President is simply calling their bluff, by invoking his authority in a period that "in spirit" any reasonable person would recognize is absolutely a recess! Thank God our president has a back bone and is willing to push aside obstructionism. He is an intelligent and thoughtful leader of our nation who is willing to do what is necessary in spite of the crony capitalism that's attempting to stop him and history will ultimately be written as such. On the other hand the GOP during this time will be deemed as a maniacle self-interested bunch protecting the 1%.

        • Donla says:

          This man has threatened to violate the three equal branches long before this recess question ever came up. He also loathes the constitution. Your bias is showing badly. Remember that control freaks can operate on both sides once you start this game!

    8. Keith Newport says:

      The 'community organizer' is testing our constitutional republic to see how much he can get away with and how far he can go! Americans must contact Senators and house members so they will know 'The People' want this attempt at tyranny stopped in its tracks.

    9. Macky Patton says:

      Add this one to a long list of policies and mandates this Pres. has done in his term . He needs to go-we did not elect a dictator-which he thinks he is.

    10. Molon Labe says:

      And now the GOP will write an extremely angry letter to the NY Times.

    11. Donla says:

      There is but one answer: Mr. president -if you go around us, this equal branch of government will go around you -your pay check is being held in abeyance as of now …in addition your entire cabinit and any who comply …..

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.