Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
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.


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.

October 2 5 Comments

Study: Chemo Unnecessary In Many Cases Of Early-Stage Breast Cancer

A new study finds that many women with early stage breast cancer don't benefit from chemotherapy.

October 2 3 Comments

Fishing For Gold After Viral Video Fame

The video of a Boston-area man's incredulous and expletive-laden discovery of a sunfish has gone viral. What happens now?

October 1 Comment

A Rare Bipartisan Effort To Reform The Criminal Justice System

The legislation would reduce mandatory minimums for certain drug offenses and largely ban solitary confinement for juveniles.

October 1 42 Comments

What Does It Mean To Raise A Spiritual Child?

Psychologist Lisa Miller discusses the scientific link between spirituality and health, and how it relates to children.