Landry Presides Over House, Blocks Recess Appointments
July 01, 2011–5:31 PM CDT
WASHINGTON, DC – Continuing his efforts to prevent President Obama from making another recess appointment, Congressman Jeff Landry (R, LA-03) today presided over a pro forma session in the United States House of Representatives. After his service as Speaker Pro Tempore, Congressman Landry released the following statement:
This morning – under the instruction of Speaker Boehner, Leader Cantor, and Whip McCarthy – I presided over a pro forma session in the United States House of Representatives, preventing Congress from going into recess and blocking President Obama from issuing recess appointments.
Let me begin by saying that under normal circumstances, the House of Representatives should not involve itself nomination fights. The Founding Fathers clearly intended the Senate to handle the nominees through a vetting process. However, when liberal lobbyists, unions, and community organizers direct the White House to subvert the will of the Senate, extraordinary steps must be taken to return transparency to our government and sanity to our political appointees.
Recess appointments are intended to maintain the continuity of our government during periods when the Senate is not in session. They are for situations when nominees cannot be considered or confirmed, not for political expediency. This isn’t 1852; Congress isn’t out of session for 4 months at a time; it doesn’t take a week for members to come back to Washington.
The last recess appointment President Obama made was Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board. Becker’s nomination was rejected by the Senate. He is a man who argues that employers should have no say in union formations and who ruled that a private company could not relocate to a non-union state.
It is widely anticipated that the President will use a recess appointment to name Elizabeth Warren the head of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, soon-to-be one of the most powerful positions in the Federal government. This is very troubling considering Warren wants the government to approve every credit transaction that citizens enter into. If President Obama really wants to fill a position, he should make his nomination and send it to the Senate.
The American people sent a loud message last November that America needs to end Washington practices that are fundamentally wrong. They elected a strong group of conservative freshmen to return accountability to the American people. And they sent us to end the status quo in Washington. So to those who will argue that past presidents have also made recess appointments, I say the fact that Administrations have long abused the recess appointment process doesn’t make it right.
That is why patriots like Representatives Tom Marino, Ben Quayle, Allen West, and 73 other freshmen have joined my efforts to hit the “kill switch” – a provision the Founding Fathers gave the House to utilize when the Senate’s advice and consent is being circumvented by a hostile Administration. This kill switch comes in the form of adjournment resolutions.
Under Article 1, Section 5 of the Constitution, the House of Representatives can prevent the Senate from recessing by withholding its consent. Simply put: we do so by voting down, or not considering, a Senate adjournment resolution. And when we do so, we block the Administration’s ability to make recess appointments.
My actions today are just the beginning. Representative Jeff Duncan will be in Washington on Tuesday, leaving his home district to ensure Congress stays in session. And Republican leaders will be here to ensure Congress does not recess for the rest of President Obama’s term.
I applaud Speaker Boehner, Leader Cantor, and Whip McCarthy for their leadership and for their commitment to a transparent government – a government that belongs to We the People. I thank them for listening to our freshman coalition and taking the appropriate steps necessary to block President Obama from making recess appointments.
Recently, Congressman Landry led a coalition of 77 freshmen in a letter to House leadership requesting all appropriate measures be taken to prevent any recess appointment by the President for the remainder of the 112th Congress.