February 9th, 2010
02:15 PM ET
8 years ago

Obama threatens to make recess appointments

Washington (CNN) – President Obama threatened Tuesday to use his power to bypass Congress and make appointments to key positions in his administration if Senate Republicans do not allow votes on their nominations.

Obama said he asked GOP leaders during a meeting at the White House "to put a stop to these holds in which nominees for critical jobs are denied a vote for months."

"If the Senate does not act, and I made this very clear, if the Senate does not act to confirm these nominees, I will consider making several recess appointments during the upcoming recess," Obama said. "Because we can't afford to allow politics to stand in the way of a well-functioning government."

The Senate is scheduled to be in recess next week.

While not mentioning him by name, Obama criticized Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Alabama, for putting a hold on all of his nominees as leverage to help his state.

"One senator, as you all are aware, had put a hold on every single nominee that we had put forward, due to a dispute over a couple of earmarks in his state," Obama said.

Shelby has since released his hold on almost all of the nominees.

Filed under: President Obama • Senate
soundoff (142 Responses)
  1. Average American

    Why do republicans had transparency so much? Well, it's because their little games and all the hypocrisy get exposed!

    February 9, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  2. Ernest from MD

    Go... Pres. O.
    It was about time.

    February 9, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  3. Duck Fallas

    Recess appointments will lead to incessant hypocritical crying and tantrums by the repukelickens.

    February 9, 2010 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  4. Reginald

    Shelby is a redneck racist from Alabama (my home state), there is no question about it. A majority of those against Obama are racist and they are doing it only because he does not look like the other 42 presidents before him. That is a sad commentary but unfortunately true. Look at the facts; He is correcting things that were broken, and spending was out of control from 42. I am not mad at him for spending now and trying to correct later. I did it and am not ashame, otherwise I would have been homeless and without food. Because of the stimulus, I received my chance to fulfill my dream of becoming an educator. Thank you Obama, keep pressing and doing what you need to do, and one day a true majority will say thank you!

    February 9, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  5. Tayo, NY

    Ho ho!

    That is politics at play!!

    Washington at work!!!

    February 9, 2010 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  6. A. Goodwin

    Oh...but wait – Republican's want to make sure these people are perfect for the job. Yeah right...they just want to stall and stall some more.

    The most telling part about this whole story is the last sentence of this article that notes that Shelby has released a hold on almost all nominees...guess that means a) they were not that bad overall b) playing politics again.

    Thanks Republican's for holding up progress.

    February 9, 2010 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |

    Get as tough as you need to, Mr. President.

    February 9, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  8. Anon

    This what Obama should have done months ago. If the repub scum don't want to cooperate GO AROUND THEM!!

    February 9, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  9. Hayes Simmons

    Obama spreads that it is only "politics" that causes republicans to put a hold on his appointments. He would never concede that it could be an honest doubt about an appointment?

    February 9, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  10. Agnim

    What the republicons are trying to do is a 'end run' around the President for BOTH political and racial ends: They were not able to defeat them for the Presidency; but they sure as hell can sandbag his efforts to govern.

    Many of the Democrats aid and abet the 'enemy' by not using the MAJORITY, which the American people allowed them to govern the nation.
    And of course, some of the democrats are trojan horses and allies of the republicon obstructionism for shared reasons.
    Meanwhile, the American people are not being served.

    Why do Americans repeatedly elect lost leaders, who have proven that they will shut down government and destroy the country?
    Are so many Americans suckers for punishment?

    February 9, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  11. Beeg

    The only interest GOP has is obtaining POWER again & NOT what is best for this Country or the people in it, but what is BEST FOR GOP. GOP is the party of NO! An admission of their OWN. REMEMBER THIS STATEMENT: "this is Obama's Waterloo, if we stop him here on healthcare, we can stop all his agenda" AND "I want him to fail" & that did not just come from Limballess, but several republicans. When people want MY country & it's President to FAIL, I consider them the enemy & NO BETTER than the TERRORIST. That means they want ME, the citizen to suffer the consequenses of that failure. The way the GOP acts, it is THEIR way or NO WAY, you'd think they were still in power & had nothing to do with anything over the last 9 years. WE, THE CITIZEN NEED TO SEND AN EVEN STRONGER MESSAGE TO GOP NEXT ELECTION. PETTINESS & OBSTRUCTIONISM WILL NOT BE REWARDED..........................................................
    'THE PARTY OF NO MUST GO".........THE THE ANTI-TEABAGGERS SLOGAN......... I am a proud Independent VOTER & not as you might have thought to the oh so ignorant out there. I believe GOP is two faced saying they want dialogue on one hand in public & the other face is to delay & stall ANYTHING that the President wants. I think the President is wasting his time with the GOP, but understand he has to reach out & at least see if they reach back. If nothing else is accomplished they will be exposed for the truth. THE PARTY OF NO is the GOP mantra!

    February 9, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  12. Publius13

    Art. II, sec. 2, clause 3: "The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session." That should satisfy the strictest of interpreters.


    February 9, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  13. Drew

    What a way to show your power and get this economy and country back. Stand tall Obama.

    February 9, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  14. DAR

    Good for him. The GOP is doing all they can to make his Presidency difficult which is unthinkable during war time and when this nation is in trouble (due to GOP policies). The Republicans want to destroy the USA all for the special interest groups that are pulling their strings.

    February 9, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  15. IsNot

    Let's see how long before someone claims he does not have the right. Then let's post the list of how many recess appointments his predecessor made. Obama has, to date, made ZERO. Bush made a few hundred...

    February 9, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  16. Threats..Obama's dig....

    Obama threatens the Republicans....now is this bipartisan talk to bring the country together for the common good....!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 9, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  17. Gary, Los Angeles

    He needs to stop blaming everyone else. What happened to bipartisan leadership? Easier said than done, huh?

    February 9, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  18. Johnny DC

    So it's not okay for Senator Shelby to put a stop to the appointment process, but it is okay for Senator Nelson to put a stop to the "crucial" Health Care legislation process?

    Unlike his predecessor, this president cannot hide behind a veil of ignorance or stupidity. He knows EXACTLY what he's saying, and he does so to intentionally manipulate the masses and misrepresent his intentions. It's sickening. I hope (and assume) that Independent voters are watching.

    February 9, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  19. Stacie

    Uh oh! Mr. Shelby got busted! Who's against big government? Not this Republican. He's swimmin' in pork!

    February 9, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  20. Mark

    Before all you t-baggers start complaining, your boy Bush did the same thing. No way John Bolton would get past all but the most insane Republicans, and he was made our diplomat to the world.

    February 9, 2010 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  21. mickey lane

    Obama should remember that in the short time he was in the senate very large amounts were allocated to his state. Furthermore, Obama & biden threatened Alaska if they didn't accept money which they (Alaka) had told them they didn't want – So what is it with the P & VP? Also at the time New Orleans was in need of money to rebuild a bridge – and it wasn't to nowhere. Why is the media so blind to this P antics.

    February 9, 2010 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  22. paul

    Recess? What have they done, constructively, together or individually, that would constitute a recess. Where is the American public's recess from the bickering and stone walling that seems to be the only thing Congress can accomplish? Hell, I'd like a recess myself....

    February 9, 2010 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  23. gary

    With a 44% approval rating, maybe we can 'recess' Obozo. lol

    February 9, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  24. Wanda

    WOW now the truth comes out....He does think he is King and doesn't have to answer to anyone. It is a sad state of affairs when a president can throw a temper tantrum because he isn't getting his way. Evidently no one has a right to question his picks for any office. Look at what has already happened in one year. We are in the gutter as far as the people he's appointed. Very few good morals or family values in the bunch. Sad but the leader picks those that are of the same ideas and morals as he/she has. Hope how soon the time comes to get another leader. I just pray he doesn't appoint himself king before that time comes.

    February 9, 2010 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  25. james Miller

    So what`s the big deal ???? It`s nothing that Bush didn`t do!!

    February 9, 2010 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
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