February 9th, 2010
02:15 PM ET
4 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. James

    Good for him!!! We all kow if you don't stand for something, that you stand for nothing at all. This should be the new slogan of the GOP. All they ever do is distrupt and stall. They never have a solution for anything.

    February 9, 2010 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  2. thanks mr president

    Way to go President Obama. Ya gotta be tough with these obstructionist.

    February 9, 2010 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  3. Marvin

    "........a well-functioning government."

    Who's government is he talking about?
    This must be in a new fictional work that I haven't read.
    Maybe he was refering to in history . Perhaps 1810 or even 1910 instead of 2010........

    February 9, 2010 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  4. RDS

    It's sad that he has to do this just to get past one senator who is trying to get earmarks for his state..no other reason. It's pathetic but oh well the ability to appointment people during recess is an option so use it..Bush and Clinton did!

    February 9, 2010 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  5. lovable liberal

    Kill the filibuster! But really kill the hold. Tell Shelby: Not a single dollar for Alabama until 6 weeks after he releases the mass hold.

    February 9, 2010 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  6. File under "Sarcasm"

    CNN, why not make this a real story be filling in who's on hold for what positions. Maybe they're tax cheats like Timothy Geitner, lobbyists like William Lynn, extremists like Van Jones or union insiders like Craig Becker whose appointments should be questioned.

    February 9, 2010 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  7. Freeman

    Shelby should have held out until Obama recanted his position on the Constellation program!

    February 9, 2010 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  8. suzi

    enough w/ the threats. do it!

    February 9, 2010 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  9. Bedtime for Obonzo

    Maybe he can slide some of his 60 or 70 "czars" into recess appointments. Those folks didn't require congressional approval, either.

    February 9, 2010 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  10. Fair is Fair

    Go right ahead, Obumbles. That way, they'll only be good until the next congress, which is 11 months away. When conservatives take both chambers, they can unceremoniously kick them out. I like your plan, Obumbles... I really like it!

    February 9, 2010 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  11. Threats..Obama's dig....

    recess appointments or sneaky appointments while nobody is looking
    ;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;???

    February 9, 2010 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  12. TOTUS 4 PRESIDENT

    We all know how unbelieveably inexperienced and naive Obama is, but is he really still in grade school??

    February 9, 2010 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  13. Annie, Atlanta

    He needs to make these appointments during recess. He has been President over a year now, and Republican obstructionism has not only stopped the legislative process, it's stopped the governing process, with important positions sitting empty.

    And on a totally different matter, for those of you thinking that insurance reform is not necessary, take note. Anthem Blue Cross of CA has just sent out notice that it is increasing premiums 39%, even though it's parent company Wellpoint made a 2.5B (yes, that's billion) dollar profit in the last quarter (yes, that is quarter) of 2009.

    Wait until your employers get their notices and can no longer afford to insure you. Maybe you'll see what we who are self-insured have been saying since this whole process began. We're one serious illness away from financial ruin, and some day soon you could be too. Keep on bashing those evil Dems for trying to fix this blatant greed. But as you're doing that, you better hope to God they do, for all our sakes.

    And btw, Medicare is government run health care, which the Republicans want to take away, along with Social Security. Wake up America. You're allowing yourself to get scared into voting against your own best interests, and dragging the rest of us with you.

    February 9, 2010 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  14. Should I believe a billionaire on am radio

    Good,if it was good for the goose,its good for the gander.Shove it down their throats,the sooner the better.

    February 9, 2010 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  15. Mike

    It's unabashed obstructionism. For selfish political motives, members of the GOP are putting the entire nation at risk by preventing these appointments from moving forward

    Their actions in this instance lay it all out on the table – it's personal, it's vindictive, and in order to stop these schoolyard antics, we need to hand them a super-minority status in 2010.

    February 9, 2010 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    Finally, some backbone. Stick up all their craws Obi. The whole GOP game of "we're going to shut down the government to make sure Obama does nothing and then blame him for doing nothing when everything continues to worsen" should have been finished and stomped out 6+ months ago. It's about time he steps on some throats...from both parties.

    Honestly, I find it apalling that vast swaths this idiot country are too stuck on stupid and mired in tribal ideological partisanship to be sick of it...regardless of party...and that some actually cheer it on nose-spite-face-style in hopes that it will win their tribe future pre-eminence in our never-ending chest-thumping barbaric race to see who can believe the panderers' lies most fervently....those self-promoting tribal chiefs hooting like constipated howler monkeys performing their ideological mating dance from on high atop their soapbox altars while the mesmerized mouth-breathing masses inhale it all wholesale.

    Yeah, that's right, american politics...so easy a caveman can do it.

    February 9, 2010 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  17. Tram

    Do it! The Grand Obstructionist Party is standing in the way of democracy and the workings of the nation. They need to grow up and act like adults and get back to the business of running the country.

    February 9, 2010 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  18. all the news that's fit to omit

    Everyone of these folks that he has FINALLY gotten around to naming (all the campaigning don't ya know) HAVE ISSUES.

    How many have been forced to step down, quit or just runaway AFTER they were exposed and though I don't like Glen Beck, he has been right everytime.

    Maybe Barry should have him on the vetting team.

    One and done Barry, I can't wait.

    February 9, 2010 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  19. Joe

    Good show these republican scrubs what leadership is!!!!

    February 9, 2010 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  20. Annie, Atlanta

    Correction: On my first post I meant to put $2.9 Billion profit, not 2.5. Sorry.

    February 9, 2010 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  21. GI Joe

    Congressional recess? They just got back from a month of vacation and have done NOTHING. Make them work until the next Christmas vacation.

    Next thing you know, they'll want a month off in August - oh, wait ....

    February 9, 2010 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  22. Greg, San Francisco, CA

    No doubt the Republicans will complain about Obama using a practice that Bush used repeatedly.

    February 9, 2010 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  23. gary in OK

    If congress doesn't act before the recess the President should make the appointments during the recess. Not "consider" it.

    Let the do-nothing congress see that the President means business, instead of just threating to do something.

    February 9, 2010 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  24. Tim - Wilmington, DE

    Good. The idiot Republicans have made it crystal clear that they won't help in any way. Their sole agenda is to obstruct, delay, block, anything they can to throw a wrench in the Presiden't plans. It's time to completely bypass them and leave them in the dust.

    February 9, 2010 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  25. dale

    Bush did it, but just wait to her the Repubs cry foul.

    February 9, 2010 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
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