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)

    I support the president but I am getting sick of tired of him holding out his hands to the republicans and having them snap at them. Come on now Obama, just do it!

    February 9, 2010 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  2. Frank P

    Just like Mafia!!!

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

    HAH! What a sucka.

    February 9, 2010 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  4. John D

    Here he goes again thinking he can do whatever he wants that he is above the law. Typical ignorant Democrat! Try thinking before you speak for a change or wait until somebody turns on your teleprompter will you please.

    February 9, 2010 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  5. Concerned Citizen

    Just do it, Mr. President. As long as the Senate rules allow a single Senator to stop the business of government, it's your only option.
    Senators used to have enough respect for their own office to use the rules judiciously. But no more. Statesmanship is a thing of the past, and has been replaced by toxic partisanship. Until the rules can be changed to prevent the abuse of power, do what you need to do.

    February 9, 2010 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    "Nelson said Monday he would vote against seating union lawyer Craig Becker on the five-member board because "he would pursue a personal agenda.""

    If you don't think that Nelson failed to finish his sentence with "...that doesn't jive with mine," then you're a moron. Quite simply, Nelson is and will continue to try to inflate his importance in the Senate by playing the same game Lieberman plays...acting like he's the swing vote all the time in order to force concessions that benefit his home state over the rest of the country. Earth to Nelson: Obama's apparently done playing that game, and with good reason. He's ready to take the ball and go home, so you better start trying to make a couple shots instead of dribbling (or is it drooling?) in circles.

    February 9, 2010 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  7. RNC = DNC = politics as usual

    Way to take input and reach out there Obama.

    I do not think stamping your feet in a tantrum is exactly the most dignified style.

    So when Obama's last nominee promised he would work with Congress we should not take him seriously since Obama doesn't do this. If Obama lies about this, his appointee will also.

    February 9, 2010 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  8. dan smith

    Kind of skirting around the law there aren't we Obama.

    February 9, 2010 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  9. Dar

    Just do it Odumbo and then we will find out all the trash about them and they will have to resign like others before them.
    Odumbo's administration is a joke and even some of the Dem's dont like who Odumbo is trying to sit. Why isnt Odumbo complaining about them? I know stupid question, their Dem's.

    2010/2012 REAL Change is coming

    February 9, 2010 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  10. tpabay

    Why make the threat...just wait for the recess then do it.

    February 9, 2010 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  11. sharon

    The gop plans to do "nothing".
    The party of "no".

    It is about time............................recess appointments have a "go".

    February 9, 2010 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  12. Dumbasrocks [R]s

    The GOP. What a gaggle of wanna-be drama queens, always running around with their panties in bunch. I would describe them as airheads, but air has more substance than what's inside their skulls.

    February 9, 2010 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  13. Bridget

    GOP = Passive Aggressive. Man they're good at what they do. They're basically making Obama do what Bush did that made so many people mad. Sucks.

    February 9, 2010 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  14. annie against biased news

    bozo's speech & press conference today was absolutely the worst thing I have ever heard. he is a total idiot!

    February 9, 2010 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  15. Phil

    Just do it!!!!!!!!!

    February 9, 2010 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  16. Barbara,TX

    GREAT FOR THE PRESIDENT...I would use my POWER to bypass everything I could ,these people just do not want to work with you and now is the time to show them who is COMMANDER in CHIEF..And if you can bypass Healthcare to get bill pass DO IT...The REP nor most of the DEMS are not trying to work for the better of this country ...No matter how you try to reach out they do not listen and do not care...IF YOU GOT THE POWER USE IT... THE PEOPLE WILL STAND BEHIND YOU!!!!!!!!!!

    February 9, 2010 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  17. Justin


    February 9, 2010 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  18. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    "...we can't afford to allow politics to stand in the way of a well-functioning government."

    "Well functioning?" Obama has to be kidding! The Collection of Clowns in DC has never functioned well and if Da Prez thinks otherwise he's even more delusional than I could possibly have imagined.

    Well... I kinda have to take some of that back...

    There's one thing the DC clowns do well: waste other peoples' money in huge, dripping, gobs.

    February 9, 2010 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |

    Maybe if he appointed people who were actually qualified there wouldn't be an issue.

    February 9, 2010 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  20. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert but...

    Good for him. The senate is a malfunctioning joke. Has been for decades. They deserve to be bypassed. And people say, "Obama hasn't done anything." Why do you think that is, randroids? Have a nice day!

    February 9, 2010 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  21. malia

    BO should quit blaming the Republicans before he loses even more of his credibility with the American people. He should focus on appointing credible people, not radicals and/or inexperienced rookies like himself. Period.

    February 9, 2010 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  22. WrongKindofChange

    There Obama goes again...bullying until he gets his way. Someone needs to remind Obama why we have 3 branches of goverment. It's so no one branch gains to much of the power. By Obama going around the senate he is essentially eliminating one of the branches of government.

    Obama the dictator!

    February 9, 2010 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  23. Gilliard

    About time the man flexes some muscle.

    February 9, 2010 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  24. john in binghamton NY

    Shelby was caught with his hand in the pork jar. Hands off the tax payer's money Shelby!!!! It is about time Obama got tough with these thugs. He should of called him out by name, so the voters know how he is wasting their money and using any means to get his hands on tax payer money.

    February 9, 2010 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  25. William

    Good for you Mr President !

    February 9, 2010 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6