Recess Appointments - Tool of the Imperial Executive
It goes without saying that there is almost no chance these three--William Wehrum, a chemical industry lawyer appointed to head the EPA's air quality division; Alex Beehler, a former Pentagon official and oil company executive who will head the EPA inspector general's office, and Susan Dudley, who will head the OMB's government rules review division--could get confirmed on their own. They have deep ties to the chemical and oil industries, and their opposition to environmental regulation is well documented, but that's OK for an administration that may take the title of 'King of Recess Appointments," away from Ronald Reagan (243).
The recess appointment was originally intended to deal with the fact that Congress had short sessions and long recesses. It was a method of keeping the executive functioning while the legislative was out making a living, but in modern times it's become just another way for presidents to do an end run around Congress. And for Bush, on track to make yet again 50% more recess appointments than his predecessor, it advances a hard-right agenda that Bush lacks the talent to support in the open.
Updated 2007/04/05, 12:26p -
BHFRK @ Club Lefty makes two additional excellent points about Bush's recess appointments. First he notes that Bush is the first president to make an appointment during a recess of less than 10 days, an unprecedented move. Second, Bush's usurpation of congressional authority is all the worse because Bush appoints people who have been rejected by the Senate. In other words, Bush simply ignores the will of Congress and the intent of the Constitution to get his way.
James... Thanks, I'll be right over to take a look.
Kathy... Illegal? Hadn't heard that yet. That would certainly be interesting. Wonder if it's ever happened before? I mean, Clinton wasn't without controversial appointments but had few that were the appointees themselves were so openly partisan.
BHFRIK... It was my pleasure. As usual you had the insights that I often can't seem to find. Though legal, you were very right in pointing out that appointing someone whose been rejected by Congress is just flat out wrong.
Fred... Really, I didn't know that. I thought that Bush was more like Reagan, at least in volume.
He gets bolder and bolder. Now a week vacation is a "recess." Why does he get bolder and bolder? Because he knows there is nobody in this country that will stand up to him. They only whine and make toothless threats during the latest news cycle.
This is tinfoil helment....but what if......
Nancy introduced articles of impeachment, they went no where of course, and she took the case to the supreme court with all her evidence of criminal activity, charging every Republican who voted against impeachment with aiding and abetting a known criminal????
that's my idea of standing up to him.
TFWY... Ironicalloy, I explored just that notion with a post that I did back in May of last year.
Snave... No argument from me. BHFRK pointed out quite correctly that the expressly thwart the will of Congress.