(Image source: Bloomberg/Joshua Roberts)

 

BY HARUMENDHAH HELMY

ANCHOR: CHRISTINA HARTMAN

 

In a move that defies six months of Senate Republican opposition, President Barack Obama has appointed former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray as chief of the government’s new watchdog office -- the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

This, despite the fact that the Senate isn’t technically in session. Obama made the Senate-sidestepping announcement Wednesday morning in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio -- a key swing state. Here’s CNN.
 

POTUS: “Today, we’re taking another important step. One that will bring us closer to the economy that we need. An economy where everybody plays by the same rules. And to help us do that, I’m joined by somebody you might recognize... Richard Cordray.”

And with that, CNBC says — the fight is on.

“President Obama is about to pick a big fight with Senate Republicans … It’s an act of political war! It’s Capitol Hill gridlock -- about to get even worse than it already is!”
 

If you can imagine that. Obama nominated Cordray back in July — but GOP members of the Senate blocked the appointment. And, as Fox News explains, Republicans have continued to oppose his appointment.

 

“Republicans believe if you put Richard Cordray or anyone else in there with what they think will be unchecked power, they’re going to issue all kinds of new consumer regulations that will crush businesses, hurt job growth, etc. The White House view is just the opposite -- that it’s time for new rules of the road for Wall Street, and it fits the president’s narrative of saying he’s standing up for the middle class, Martha.”

In an effort to halt Obama’s recess appointment, Senate Republicans have been holding “pro forma” sessions -- where the Senate gathers every three days to avoid being officially “in recess.” Why three days? A Congressional Research Service report published in December has this to say.

“In 1993, …  a Department of Justice brief implied that the President may make a recess appointment during a recess of more than three days.”

But The Hill talks to one law professor who explains the case for Obama’s actions.

“If the Senate is not sitting as a deliberative body ready and willing to render advisory consent, it triggers recess-appointment authority. … The pro-forma sessions are obviously shams and the Senate is taking a five-week recess."


And The New York Times’ caucus blog highlights the timing of Obama’s announcement.

“The move came hours after the conclusion of the Iowa caucuses, and was sure to turn attention away from the Republican Party and back to the president.”

Talking Points Memo points out the president actually bypassed a brief window in which the decision didn’t have to be so contentious. In 1903, Teddy Roosevelt recess appointed more than 100 federal officials in the seconds-long window between Senate sessions. For Obama, that window was on Tuesday.

“...it’s hard to figure why Obama would choose to create a new precedent rather than avail himself of an existing one — unless you imagine he’s daring the GOP to make a big stink about it, and thus loudly side with Wall Street against him and middle-class consumers. It’s a safe bet that’s part of his thinking.”

Later Wednesday, President Obama also made three more recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board. 

 

Obama Appoints Consumer Watchdog Chief

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Jan 5, 2012

Obama Appoints Consumer Watchdog Chief

(Image source: Bloomberg/Joshua Roberts)

 

BY HARUMENDHAH HELMY

ANCHOR: CHRISTINA HARTMAN

 

In a move that defies six months of Senate Republican opposition, President Barack Obama has appointed former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray as chief of the government’s new watchdog office -- the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

This, despite the fact that the Senate isn’t technically in session. Obama made the Senate-sidestepping announcement Wednesday morning in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio -- a key swing state. Here’s CNN.
 

POTUS: “Today, we’re taking another important step. One that will bring us closer to the economy that we need. An economy where everybody plays by the same rules. And to help us do that, I’m joined by somebody you might recognize... Richard Cordray.”

And with that, CNBC says — the fight is on.

“President Obama is about to pick a big fight with Senate Republicans … It’s an act of political war! It’s Capitol Hill gridlock -- about to get even worse than it already is!”
 

If you can imagine that. Obama nominated Cordray back in July — but GOP members of the Senate blocked the appointment. And, as Fox News explains, Republicans have continued to oppose his appointment.

 

“Republicans believe if you put Richard Cordray or anyone else in there with what they think will be unchecked power, they’re going to issue all kinds of new consumer regulations that will crush businesses, hurt job growth, etc. The White House view is just the opposite -- that it’s time for new rules of the road for Wall Street, and it fits the president’s narrative of saying he’s standing up for the middle class, Martha.”

In an effort to halt Obama’s recess appointment, Senate Republicans have been holding “pro forma” sessions -- where the Senate gathers every three days to avoid being officially “in recess.” Why three days? A Congressional Research Service report published in December has this to say.

“In 1993, …  a Department of Justice brief implied that the President may make a recess appointment during a recess of more than three days.”

But The Hill talks to one law professor who explains the case for Obama’s actions.

“If the Senate is not sitting as a deliberative body ready and willing to render advisory consent, it triggers recess-appointment authority. … The pro-forma sessions are obviously shams and the Senate is taking a five-week recess."


And The New York Times’ caucus blog highlights the timing of Obama’s announcement.

“The move came hours after the conclusion of the Iowa caucuses, and was sure to turn attention away from the Republican Party and back to the president.”

Talking Points Memo points out the president actually bypassed a brief window in which the decision didn’t have to be so contentious. In 1903, Teddy Roosevelt recess appointed more than 100 federal officials in the seconds-long window between Senate sessions. For Obama, that window was on Tuesday.

“...it’s hard to figure why Obama would choose to create a new precedent rather than avail himself of an existing one — unless you imagine he’s daring the GOP to make a big stink about it, and thus loudly side with Wall Street against him and middle-class consumers. It’s a safe bet that’s part of his thinking.”

Later Wednesday, President Obama also made three more recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board. 

 

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