November 19th, 2007
09:58 AM ET
11 years ago

Reid keeps Senate in session to block Bush

Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid is trying to thwart recess appointments by the President.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Senators have left town for the Thanksgiving holiday, but the Senate will technically stay in session - a move that keeps President Bush from making appointments while lawmakers are in recess.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, said he would schedule "pro forma" sessions during the two-week break, even though lawmakers will be absent and no business will be conducted.

The Constitution gives a president the power to fill vacancies without the Senate's confirmation when the legislative body is in recess. Such appointees can serve without confirmation through the rest of the current session of Congress, which ends in January 2009.

Bush has used the power before to install nominees whose confirmation Senate Democrats had blocked. The most notable instance came in August 2005 when he angered Democrats by naming John Bolton as U.N. ambassador.

"My hope is that this will prompt the president to see that it is in our mutual interests for the nominations process to get back on track," Reid said in a statement.

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Filed under: President Bush • Senate
soundoff (83 Responses)
  1. thetaxpayer

    Bring back last year's budget and let's just continue this "pro forma" session for the remaining time left in this pitiful 110th Congress' term. Just think of all the money we will save..

    November 20, 2007 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  2. Christian, Tampa FL

    I love it. Heh heh heh.

    November 20, 2007 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  3. Richard, West Palm Beach, FL

    How about you all come back in 3 years…then again if the Dems take over in 3 years you'll all be here talking about how bad the dems are and how America is getting attacked all the time
    Bush miserably failed to prevent the FIRST attack and isn't going to do any better preventing another. Certainly, no one believes our borders are secured from foreigners coming in.

    It is documented that Saddam Hussein did not trust Al Qaeda and kept them in control. Bush gave them a place to play. After 6 years he still hasn't found the #1 terrorist, but again he's "not that concerned" about bin Laden.

    November 20, 2007 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  4. Christopher, Madison, WI

    These types of shenanigans are exactly what the America people have come to expect from this pitiful 110th liberal Congress. Is there any doubt as to way they continue to rank as the worst Congress in American history?? In fact, in light of the dismal dem accomplishments this year, we should just write off the whole Nancy and Harry show as a "pro forma" session. You dems must be real thankful..
    Posted By RealityKing : November 19, 2007 11:42 am

    Wrong, wrong, wrong! This is exactly why the American people voted in the Democratic majority. I know it's probably beyond your grasp but it's called oversight. Bush has funded this war as supplemental and emergency funding in order to keep it out of the budget. Many of his very bad choices for appointments have come from recess appointments. This is exactly what the majority of Americans want to put a stop to. We are a democracy based on the majorities wishes not Bush's minority and their ilk. Now watch the poll numbers jump for the dems in congress. The only thing that was hold down their numbers were the "unconstitutional" repukes and their filibusters. Come to think of it when the dems did that you were calling for their heads. So I ask you...would you like your head with a hat or on a platter? Dems will sweep 2008. My I suggest you relocate to Iran? They have a dictator, anti-gay laws and it's a theocracy. Less work for you!
    Keep drinking the Kool-Aide "RealityKing" and stay the course as the cliff is just up ahead! Jump lemmings jump!

    November 21, 2007 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  5. Christopher, Madison, WI

    As an Independent what I see Congress doing is trying to pull the wool over America.If you think what Congress has been doing this year is the blame of the Republican Party,you are all not seeing what's going on.If you think all this extra spending in these bills are what we need,maybe you forgot what Fiscal Spending really means.As for the Childrens Health Care,you should ask them eight Democrat Senators who thing 250,000 adults constitue being in this bill.Key word being (Children).
    The problem with Congress is that they have forgotten that they are there to serve us,but they think seeing which party power is more important to them.Maybe what America needs is a Congress full of Independents who have no party affiliation and the interest of America at heart,then maybe we could get something done and stop the school yard bickering.Reid and Pelosi are a disgrace to Congress leadership.

    Your grammar and punctuation are extremely bad. Perhaps we do need to spend more money to help folks out like you that lack a good education and basic grasp of the English language. You are living proof that you get what you paid for and in your case I'm saving the receipt.

    November 21, 2007 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  6. Christopher, Madison, WI

    Why is everyone calling it a loophole. It's not a loophole, it's a power of the pres. Which is needed at times because the Desm refuse to do anything that doesn't serve their needs 100%. The idea that they'll give in as long as puch is sending them their own handpicked people is crazy. But I guess to the dems the idea of give and take is take and no give.

    I've been looking back over the year and can anyone point out one really great thing congress has done? I cannot find anything worth talking about.
    Posted By Terry, Lakeland, FL : November 19, 2007 2:08 pm

    Minimum wage increase for starters. Please turn off FauxNoise and pay attention!

    November 21, 2007 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  7. Terry, Lakeland, FL

    Minimum wage increase for starters. Please turn off FauxNoise and pay attention!

    Please, all that has done is cost jobs. Who do you think past for that increase? Do you think small business owners are just going to eat those extra costs?

    November 21, 2007 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  8. Richard, West Palm Beach, FL

    Of course the costs of an increase in the minimum wage will be passed on. There is a difference between being rich, selfish and greedy, and having some compassion for your less fortunate fellow man who is working to make a living. It looks like one side PREACHES the Golden Rule, but the other side PRACTICES the Golden Rule.

    November 21, 2007 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
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