July 7th, 2010
08:05 PM ET
4 years ago

Baucus criticizes Obama for recess appointment

'I'm troubled that, rather than going through the standard nomination process, Dr. Berwick was recess appointed,' Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus said in a statement.
'I'm troubled that, rather than going through the standard nomination process, Dr. Berwick was recess appointed,' Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus said in a statement.

(CNN) – Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus is the first Democrat to express displeasure with President Obama's recess appointment of Dr. Donald Berwick to head the agency overseeing Medicare and Medicaid.

"I'm troubled that, rather than going through the standard nomination process, Dr. Berwick was recess appointed. Senate confirmation of presidential appointees is an essential process prescribed by the Constitution that serves as a check on executive power and protects Montanans and all Americans by ensuring that crucial questions are asked of the nominee – and answered," the Montana senator said in a statement.

Baucus went on to state that he looked forward to working with the agency on health care reform's implementation "despite the recess appointment."

Listen: CNN Radio's Lisa Desjardins takes a look at the decision.


– CNN Congressional Producer Ted Barrett contributed to this report.


Filed under: Max Baucus
soundoff (131 Responses)
  1. Brad

    As Max Baucus is well aware, recess appointments are permitted for a limited time before a senate confirmation process is needed.

    Maybe if the legislature got off their butts and did something for a change, there would be fewer of these.

    July 7, 2010 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  2. me

    That is the same thing Bush did. So much for change.

    July 7, 2010 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  3. David Johnston

    Do you want the job, shut up and do yours.

    July 7, 2010 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  4. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert, but...

    It never seemed to bother anyone when W did it. Have a nice day!

    July 7, 2010 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  5. Diane

    Perhaps he should remember that the Republicans keep holding up President Obama's appointments for no good reason. If Baucus and the Republicans want to avoid recess appointments, they should get off their collective "duffs" and do their jobs.

    July 7, 2010 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  6. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Whine, whine, whine!!! I don't care if you're a democrat or not. You guys in Congress, primarily republicans are holding up a slew of nominees. If it's in the POTUS' power to appoint nominees while Congress is on vacation, then more power to him. Congress is needed for douchbag President's like GWB. When it comes to this President, I wish he didn't have to deal with you characters. Geesh!

    July 7, 2010 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  7. drednm

    WHAT A JERK.... the "standard process" at this point is for Republicans to stall and delay every possible nomination... to hell with you...

    July 7, 2010 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  8. Kate

    Oh please, they all do it. Don't act like it's something new or outrageous when it isn't.

    July 7, 2010 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  9. obama victim

    even the democrats are turning on soon to be former president obama.......guess that "hope and change" just didn't work out

    July 7, 2010 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  10. T'SAH from Virginia

    President Obama is DAMNED if he DO and DAMNED if he DON'T!!!

    July 7, 2010 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  11. Unit34AHunt

    where's the outrage? Dems were all over Chimpy McShrub when he made recess appointments...

    July 7, 2010 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  12. Steve- Illinois

    Berwick- “It’s not a question of whether we will ration care. It is whether we will ration with our eyes open.” “Any health care funding plan that is just, equitable, civilized and humane must, must redistribute wealth from the richer among us to the poorer and the less fortunate. Excellent health care is by definition redistributional."

    No worries! Unless of course his definition of the "richer among us" includes you! Which it will, once 30 million more people are added to Medicare & Medicaid, (per Obamacare) if you have a job!

    July 7, 2010 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  13. larry

    Baucus is a jerk.....did he critize every Bush recess appointment or did he critize the republican for stalling the appointment process.

    July 7, 2010 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  14. K. Parks

    Senator Baucus would be wise to remember that every president from both parties have made recess appointments. George W. Bush made 171 recess appointments as oppose to the 139 recess appointments made by Bill Clinton.

    And the 'tit for tat' continues.

    July 7, 2010 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  15. Dave Harris

    It's too bad that we're going to miss all the Republican antics over "rationing": and "death panels" and "socialism". It's always fun to hear how they're going to save socialized medicine (aka Medicare) for the old people while simultaneously denouncing socialized medicine. Maybe they could get together in a bar or something and do it for us anyway.

    July 7, 2010 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  16. waheid

    Philosophically, I agree with Baucus. However, inasmuch as the Senate clings to the concept of senatorial "holds" of Presidential nominations, there is no other way to bypass the system. Move the Senate rules into the 21st Century and then we'll talk about recess appointments.

    July 7, 2010 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  17. Jim

    one more academic who does not have a clue how to run a business. We are in trouble and getting worse

    July 7, 2010 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  18. steven harnack

    And how many recess appointments did Bush make? More than went through conformation I think.

    July 7, 2010 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  19. mj

    I don't believe anyone is surprised Obama did this. Just playing his Chicago politics. He gets what he wants no matter what the cost.

    July 7, 2010 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  20. joe m

    anothe disappointing example of how the president has decided that living up to his campaign promises is not a part of any of his priorities. we were promised transparency and a move away from the old politics of washington. instead, the president has resorted to the standard practice of his predecesors of a recess appointment. this tactic has been part of the old political games played when an appointee promised a greater hurdle than what a president is willing to take. if this individual were the best person for the job then despite the promise of republicans to obstruct their confirmation, the president should have fought that battle and lived up to his promises. this move just raises more questions about the real intent of nominating this person; whether it is the producty of good policy or bad politics. really disappointing.

    July 7, 2010 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  21. Maine

    GW Bush made 171 recess appointments. Reagan made 240+. Get over it Baucus. Obama is doing something that presidents have been doing for over two centuries.

    July 7, 2010 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  22. phoenix86

    Obama's choice of Berwick is so politically toxic that he could only do this with the republicans out of town. The republicans would have shown that Obamacare is only about wealth redistribution and tax increases, and even the liberal dems don't want to admit this in public.

    July 7, 2010 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  23. MR AMERICA

    The "essential process" is nothing of the sort.

    It allows for windbag posturing and a waste of time!

    Ultimately the guy will get nominated anyway...kudos to Obama for eliminating this WASTE OF TIME!

    July 7, 2010 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  24. Linda

    Baucus – lost your memory regarding the numerous recess appointments you hero Bush made?

    What a hypocrite you truly are

    July 7, 2010 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  25. FRANK - LAS VEGAS

    Max, did you get your talking points from your insurance industry buddies along with their money?

    July 7, 2010 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
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