November 23rd, 2007
12:00 PM ET
11 years ago

Senate holds another quickie session to frustrate Bush

Sen. Dorgan presided over a short Senate session Friday morning.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - With the nation’s attention focused on Thanksgiving leftovers and bargain shopping, the Senate held another brief but significant session on Friday as part of a continuing effort to prevent President Bush from making unconfirmed “recess” appointments.

Sen. Byron Dorgan of North Dakota took on the task of gaveling the Senate in and out of session; the formalities lasted approximately 28 seconds and no other senators were present. Dorgan followed Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia, who presided over a similarly brief meeting on Tuesday. By not going into recess, Democrats can prevent President Bush from filling federal government posts without going through the confirmation process. Dorgan’s holiday plans were not disrupted; he told CNN he was happy to preside, as he had already planned to be on Capitol Hill on Friday for an appropriations meeting.

- CNN Contributor Jamie Gray

Filed under: President Bush • Senate
soundoff (85 Responses)
  1. George Bogan SC

    Good for the democrats, it is time that we stop the appointment of unqualified people to represent this country here and around the world.
    This administration is bad enough without appointing more incompetence.

    November 23, 2007 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  2. Ann, Canada

    Congratulations to the Senators taking turns holding the Senate in session. It is such a neat way to stop Bush from doing what republicans threatened Clinton from ever doing again without their permission. Republicans threatened if Clinton ever made a recess appointment without their okay they would block every judicial nominee he put forth for the rest of his term. So why do republicans not mind their own party playing dirty with threats against a President but can't stand the Democrats holding legitimate sessions no matter what the reason? It's not as if the Republicans have been working for the American people anyway since they lost power. They seem to have found the filibuster which they decried democrats using with threats of "the nuclear option". Remember??

    November 23, 2007 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  3. Dr. Ross C. Hoffman IV San Diego, CA

    This week I am giving thanks to those Democratic Senators keeping the Senate in session in order to negate Bush's ability to cram arch-conservatives down our throats with more infamous recess appointments. I likewise give thanks for anything legally done to remove power and influence from the most nefarious, hypocritical, and mendacious President to ever inflict himself and his Administration on our Republic. I fully support impeachment of both George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. Our nation and our Constitution have not faced a threat this serious since the Civil War. And sadly that is no exaggeration.

    November 23, 2007 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  4. Rob Akers, London, KY

    The actions of the Democrats are ridiculous – a sophomoric attempt to play politics more reminscent of childrens' games than statesmanship.

    The appointments are temporary and have been part of the American system for generations. It's a President's opportunity to place important but minor adminstrators in place without the usual runaround. As I remember, no one pulled stunts like this when President Clinton made recess apointments – it was just a matter of course.

    It's all part of the Democrats' "Culture of Contention" – no wonder the Congress has the lowest approval ratings in history.

    November 23, 2007 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  5. Steven, West Virginia

    Go Democrats go. Make sure Bush's appointee just don't get a free ride into the White House.

    November 23, 2007 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  6. rain39, McKinney, TX

    Thanks Democrats for growing some. We do appreciate some balance of power for a change and your efforts to finally provide it. Recess apointments are a travesty!

    November 23, 2007 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  7. JD Rugby ND

    Speaking as a lifelong Republican voter, I am proud of the Senate Democrats for taking action to stand up to the commander guy. Bush is the worst president in the history of our nation, and his war of terror in Iraq is ruining US.

    November 23, 2007 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |

    Well, it looks like more of the same old stuff here. CNN is still censoring comments!

    November 23, 2007 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  9. Walt, Belton, TX

    Actually, these were probably the most productive two days of this senate session. No villifying speeches by that idiot Harvey Reid and he didn't have to kiss Hillary's rump one time!

    November 24, 2007 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  10. Jr., California

    They are traitors!

    November 24, 2007 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  11. Chris, Plainfield, IL

    Someone needs to stop this fascist President of ours. As a veteran I find it amazing that I can have such an incompetent Commander in Chief.

    I miss Bill...

    November 24, 2007 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
  12. thevoter

    I don't know about Bush, but the Senate's incompitence and lack of accomplishments are sure frustrating the heck out of me..!!

    November 24, 2007 01:32 am at 1:32 am |
  13. John, Charleston SC

    So why are they getting the no name grunt Senators no one ever heard about to do this? Where is Senator Clinton? Where is Senator Obama? Why aren't they standing with their party in defying the administration by holding 30 second sessions in which they are the only member present? Could it be because they see this for what it is-a poorly conceived political game aimed at making the administration as impotent and useless as the Congress has been since the change of power?

    November 24, 2007 02:14 am at 2:14 am |
  14. Patrick, Denver CO

    Step back and look at this from a non-partisan point of view. All of you democrats who are supporting this, the dems have now set a precedent. Whenver there is a Democratic President who nominates someone at a time when the Republicans controll congress, they will blindly oppose him/her (such as how the dems are doing now) the Republicans will now do the same thing. Of course the argument is that the President should nominate someone that is supported by both parties but I truely believe that the democrats in this case don't care about the nominee they hate the president so much they would oppose Ted Kennedy himself if President Bush nominated him for a position.

    November 24, 2007 02:19 am at 2:19 am |
  15. John, Kuala Lumpur

    Politics aside, this seems like awfully shameless way to bypass the intent of the founding fathers. They gave those powers to the President for a reason. Such a ridiculous mockery of a "session" of the Senate surely violates that intent.

    November 24, 2007 03:38 am at 3:38 am |
  16. Maeve

    The Congressional and Senate Bush-butt kissers are the ones responsible for the legislative branch being so slow to get anything done. Frankly, those low approval ratings others here speak about are OWNED by Republicans...just like the incredible shrinking president OWNS his gutter numbers.

    Finally, FINALLY, the Democratic majority, small as it is, figures out a way to keep Dubya from sneaking around and getting his own way with his arrogant recess appointments.

    Now if they could only figure out how to keep him from excusung himself and the executive branch from abiding by laws the laws the legislators write and pass with all those signing statements the Shrub scribbles in the margins.

    November 24, 2007 05:37 am at 5:37 am |
  17. Alice Newman Center Harbor NH

    If Sonja (or someone else) changed a few names, I would have believed this was a rant about the Grim Ol' Party who has done its level best to destroy the county at home and abroad.

    Unelected Karl Rove calls most of the shots for the GOP and when you talk on pandering, the Evangelical Christians pop into the picture ... talk about a group that wants their way, for everyone, and now.

    Take another sip of fool-aide, turn on Faux news and we'll call you when the elections are over.

    November 24, 2007 06:40 am at 6:40 am |
  18. mark wilkes barre pa

    Theres nothing Pesident bush can get done at this point that the incoming president can't un-do is there ? isn't that why we call him a lame duck ? for all the haters here ,it's the end of the road for President Bush. Your never going to get the impeachment you so desperatly want to vindicate President Clinton. MOVE ON brothers ! look foward ,make a difference in our future, stop dwelling in the past learn from it. History repeats itself over and over. End this era of old school politics,, keep the Bush/Clinton hold on our country from happening again

    November 24, 2007 07:10 am at 7:10 am |
  19. Chris, Middletown, CT

    As a Republican, I say good....but then like anything else I ask why don't they change the law to state that a president can NEVER make unconfirmed recess appointments....wait....because they don't want to do that in case they ever get in power again....more games from the Dems....good job

    November 24, 2007 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  20. Randy, Clemmons, NC

    It is so sad to still see delusional people here defending a president that has never believed our constitution applies to him. I support any action the dems take against him. And for the record, those lacking support for the military right now are the republicans since they defeated a funding bill. Bush is like a spoiled little brat-if he can't have what he wants he has a tantrum.

    November 24, 2007 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  21. robin r. warren, michigan

    thats the way to do it Byron, Bush is just trying to sneak these guys in under your nose and that is no way to carry out government.

    November 24, 2007 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  22. Roger, Raytown, MO

    This game is additional proof of how ineffective Congress will be as long as the focus is partisan posturing instead of working together to solve the nation's problems. However, maybe the Republicans could stop this charade so we are all spared the dribble about how this pretense shows that the Democrats are vigilent in protecting the nation from the constitutonal process of presidential appointments. Have a few Republican senators show up at the scheduled start time for one of these phoney sessions. If the session were then called to order by the sole Democrat senator present, wouldn't the super majority of Republican senators present have the power to confirm any appointments they wanted? My guess is that the session would not be called to order, and any pending recess appontments could become effective.

    November 24, 2007 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  23. Anonymous, Williamsburg, VA

    "Senate holds another quickie session to frustrate Bush"


    Seems the Congressional Democrats have taken a page out of Clinton's book. They both seem very good at "quickies".

    November 24, 2007 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  24. lou tulsa, ok

    Another indication of why we need a third party in America. These sleazy democrats would rather burn our tax money on stupid pet tricks like this instead of just doing their job and voting up or down on legitimate confirmations. What fools they make us look like. Had enough? Dump all of them and lets start over.

    November 24, 2007 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  25. hey allons,tn

    to all that say we have a do nothing senate and congress they need 60% votes to pass a bill to many republicans blocking good legislation for country. we had a do it to you senate and congress and have got do it to are country g.w. bush!

    November 24, 2007 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
1 2 3 4