90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Thursday, January 5, 2012

When Is A Recess Appointment Not Really A Recess Appointment?

President Obama shakes hands with Richard Cordray at Shaker Heights High School, in Shaker Heights, Ohio, on Wednesday. (AP)

When is a recess appointment, not really a recess appointment? President Obama Wednesday appointed Richard Cordray as the head of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau after Obama’s lawyers declared the Senate to be in recess.

But Republicans are crying foul. They say the Senate was actually in a pro-forma session, for a whole 40 seconds. No business takes place during pro forma sessions, which have been used for the express purpose of preventing recess appointments.

Ed O’Keefe of the Washington Post writes that recess appointments are very common. Bill Clinton made 139 and George W. Bush made 171. At this point in his second term, Bush had made 61 appointments, compared to 32 for President Obama.

But Obama is the first President to make a recess appointment during a pro forma session. And business groups are now threatening legal actions to block the appointment.

Guest:


Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

July 21 Comment

Boxing Attracts More Than Would-Be Fighters

At the Ring Boxing Club, boxers range in age, are both men and women, and include an award-winning author.

July 21 Comment

Why Hot Cars Are So Deadly

An average of 38 kids die in a hot car every year in the U.S. We look at the science of why cars get so hot so fast, and why children are more vulnerable.

July 18 19 Comments

A Conversation With Immigrant Activist Jose Antonio Vargas

We sit down with the immigrant-rights activist, who has written extensively about the fact that he has been living illegally in the U.S. for years.

July 18 4 Comments

Will Israel Widen The War And Will Hamas Run Out of Rockets?

What will drive Israel's decision? What are the strategic calculations Hamas is making and how will it emerge from this conflict?