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. Gee

    What? He is in a hurry to get a couple more of his commie friends into the administration?

    February 9, 2010 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  2. The Film Professor

    Do it, Mr. President.

    Frankly, to Hades with Senator Shelby (80 holds, for crying out loud), Senator McCain, and all of the other obstructionist Republicans.

    If they want to use the rules to play political games, use the rules that you have to just outmaneuver them.

    February 9, 2010 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  3. Really???

    I didn't realize that we HAD a well-functioning government. When did THAT happen?

    February 9, 2010 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  4. Sue

    Enjoy your arrogant, unchecked power/control Obama-–because in 10 months it is going to be taken away.

    In 10 months--Obama, Pelosi, Reid and the liberal Democrats are going to lose all power/control through the 2010 elections--and Obama becomes a lame duck until he is booted out in 2012.

    Tick tick tick.........The clock is now ticking until the 2010 elections-–and MANY Democrats get clobbered in the polls and are sent to the unemployment lines.

    February 9, 2010 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  5. Chandler

    If the problem was the quality of his nominees, you wouldn't be getting congress to pass them 96-0 after 9 months of stalling. Let's be realistic and factual people.

    February 9, 2010 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  6. Good!

    I hope President Obama will carry out this threat (Bush did it plenty of times so don't go screaming about dictatorship unless you acknowledge that it cuts both ways). These GopDopes need a wakeup call - they're off the ropes, but they are still the minority party. We elected Obama to get things done, not to be mired in the endless namecalling and obstruction that passes for leadership by Republicans. Do it Mr. President!!

    February 9, 2010 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  7. Texas Jack


    February 9, 2010 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  8. Liberal Hypocrisy

    When the Democrats did this to Bush I'm sure it was just because of their principles and not because of politics, right?

    February 9, 2010 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  9. Mark

    Even the dems are against some of his picks, obamy wouldn't have this trouble if he used a little bit of sense when picking them, so far it's like he went to progressiveradicals.com to find these loons.

    February 9, 2010 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  10. tom

    You have to fight these clowns hard and heavy. Do not give them the time of day.Stand up for whats right and the people will follow. Fear and hate is what drive them.

    February 9, 2010 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  11. Rickster

    lolol.....oh Barry, Barry, Barry......this coming from the most political and divisive president we've ever had.

    February 9, 2010 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  12. JES

    Can someone tell me where the well-functioning government is.

    All I have been able to see is blame Bush and increse debt and spending.

    The fox is grading the hen house and all the convicts are running the show.

    February 9, 2010 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  13. valwayne

    Obama will get his radical left wing appointees into Government by hook or by crook! Are we suppose to be surprised?

    February 9, 2010 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  14. jenn, philadelphia

    The republicans won't criticize him for using a tactic Bush used all the time. We'll just criticize him for using a tactic he criticized Bush for using all the time. Hypocrite!

    February 9, 2010 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  15. MATT


    February 9, 2010 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  16. Laurie

    Good for you. The only way things will change is to stand up against the GOP because they have no intention on improving the situation in this country.

    February 9, 2010 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  17. Angie in PA

    Holding up the Goverment for PORK President Obama grow some and do it Appoint your people without the pork piggies!

    February 9, 2010 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  18. Steph

    What a fine example of small government, Mr. Shelby. You think you can hold the government hostage to get some extra earmarks for your little area of the country. Wouldn't that increase the deficit? Can we say Hypocrite. YES WE CAN!

    February 9, 2010 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  19. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert but...

    I just love the "real Americans" who think that the three branches of government are the executive branch (president), the Senate and the House of representatives. Hahaha. Classic. Have a nice day!

    February 9, 2010 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  20. NVa Native

    Go for it President Obama. These Repub clowns don't care what's right or wrong, or what is factual or just fantasy. All they care about is having the opportunity to say "NO". Plus they can't whine about it since the last administration did it all the time. They just want you and US to fail. It's the party of "do no work" and "take no responsibility".
    Repubs just obstruct, lie and cry.

    February 9, 2010 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  21. John from CT

    Obama the Dictator!! what a joke. it was ok when Bush did it, but now when Presdient Obama does it he is a dictator. What a hypocrite.

    February 9, 2010 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  22. Pelosi is a see-you-en-tea

    It's funny to hear the the biggest spending President in history utter the words "we can't afford".

    February 9, 2010 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  23. haha!

    Of course you're gonna have idiots on here from the right calling Our President a dictator or use words like "Odumbo, and Obozzo"...you idiots are so stupid you don't whether to scratch your watch or wind your butts!

    you cannot have a functioning 3 branch government if all the republicans do is say NO NO NO to everything! the republicans are the problem! not our president! I'm sick of the republican party and their ignorance...wanting "government" out of our lives...well guess what? i want YOU OUT OF OUR LIVES! we need a functioning government and you morons are doing nothing but bringing this country to it's knees and making is a weak country and making our president appear weak when he's NOT! stop your whining! he's our president and he's far better than anything you republicans had to offer in the past, current and future! get real!

    February 9, 2010 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  24. WoW

    85% of you individuals bashing the republican party HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT. I can pretty much guarantee that. Keep bobbing your heads up and down everytime senor Obama speaks as if you know what he is talking about. Educate yourselves before you bash anyone or any party.

    February 9, 2010 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  25. Librarian

    YES, YES and YES. Now this is change I can believe in. Do the right thing Mr. President and forget the party of NO.

    February 9, 2010 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
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