Realizing that President Obama may use the Memorial Day Holiday adjournment to seize the opportunity to make recess appointments, especially for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director, a group of Republican senators are calling on the House to block the Senate from going on recess.
Reported in The Wall Street Journal, by refusing to pass any resolution to allow the Senate to recess or adjourn for more than three days for the rest of the president's term would restrict his ability to make controversial recess appointments.
The senators, led by David Vitter (LA) and Jim DeMint (SC), are primarily concerned that the president will use the holiday recess to appoint Elizabeth Warren as Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). She currently serves as a "special advisor to the Treasury" and is tasked with setting up the bureau.
The White House said that the president is still reviewing candidates for the director post and has yet to make a selection. The challenged faced by the administration is that the CFPB is mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act to launch by July 21, 2011. However, the act also limits the CFPB's authority to begin operating if a permanent director is in place.
While some Democratic senators and consumer advocates have urged the president to utilize the recess appointment tactic to place Warren in the leadership post, Republican and industry groups want to see the president follow the process and nominate someone and allow them to go through the confirmation process.
Richard Hunt, President of the Consumer Bankers Association said, ""I still believe the president should at least nominate someone first," Hunt said. "I've said from day one, the president should nominate someone who is qualified to lead this new government agency who has management experience and experience in the banking industry. I think that person should have his full day in court, if you will."
Recess appointments allow a president to temporarily avoid a Senate confirmation by appointing someone to a position that requires Senate confirmation, while the Senate is on recess. The appointee is then able to serve until the beginning of the next Congress is seated, and then must go through confirmation.