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. richard in montana

    Max, you are sounding more and more like a member of the party of no. Perhaps you and the rest of the do nothing Senators and Congress persons should have kept your asses in Washington instead of taking another vacation. I sometime wonder why I continue to vote for you.

    July 7, 2010 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  2. thor

    There's trouble brewing in la la land !!! Obama isn't king any more.

    July 7, 2010 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  3. Four and The Door

    Are you Democrats pleased that you fixed the things that were wrong with Washington politics? Obama seems to be taking them to a new low level...Chicago style.

    July 7, 2010 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  4. Kwesoe

    Baucus and his senate colleagues should be ashamed of themselves. They forced the president's hand to perform a recess appointment. If they had done their legislative duty and conducted the confirmation hearings, they could have avoided this from happening. Radiance, Mr. President! I'll say make more recess appointments before the republicans highjack your agenda with their naysaying.

    July 7, 2010 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  5. Rickster

    Obama doesn't care about the constitution....it means nothing to the third-world-foreign-country-raised dictator wannabe.

    July 7, 2010 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  6. Bill NY

    When they do it, its ok. When the other side does it, its troubling. They seem incapable of scruples or shame. God help us all!

    July 7, 2010 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  7. Laverne

    Max you should be having this conversation with his senate buddies who are holding up the process making it near impossible to get anything done. I am glad to see President Obama doing what he has to do!

    July 7, 2010 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  8. Kenneth

    Everything that Our President does is overly scrutinized. Okay so he made an appointment without going through the senate ... maybe he got tired of the lobbying and political posturing that comes with making these selections. Maybe he decided that this appointment is one that he could fill without adding another issue to an already packed agenda. Maybe this senator and all the others spouting about what President Obama is not including them in on should focus on what he has included them which are issues that are critical to the American public such as the oil spill, the war in Afghanistan, the trillion dollar deficit, and other issues that I am sure we, the American public, have not been made aware. Get off your high horses and focus on the matters put before you. Handle whats on your plate before you beg for more. in other words swallow your food before shoveling more into your greedy, self serving, political posturing mouths.

    July 7, 2010 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  9. Uncle Sam

    Its not new to just this administration. But it is BS that its acceptable to circumvent the constitution by intentionally waiting to appoint a nominee. It would be hard to argue that the original intent was created for emergencies and unexpected vacancies when communication and travel with legislators was more difficult.

    July 7, 2010 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  10. geecee

    If Congress did its job, like it should, and reviewed potential appointees without using stalling tactics, there would be no need for "recess" appointments. You guys need to get with the program, and stop blaming Obama for wanting to fill positions that need filling and trying to get the job done. You are the ones not doing your jobs, so Congress, stop the politicking and b.s.ing and get to work. Earn your salaries for a change.

    July 7, 2010 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  11. KM

    If Congress was able to multi-task, we wouldn't have the problem of ANY President recess appointments.

    July 7, 2010 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  12. charles

    Stupid Bacus, the president is doing it because you have failed to do your Job. You cant stall the president appointees for the sake of your political gains. Americans are hurting because of the failure of the government to do her Job. Just tell the american people whether any of the appointees has no qualifications or experience other than the so called stupid ideologies you always point too. I would do it if i was the president . I support the president on this issue.

    July 7, 2010 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  13. RTB

    Hasn't Baucus been pretending to be a Democrat long enough?

    The debacle he helped orchestrate with health care reform and other pro Republican legislation, might as well call him what he is - a Republican in Dem clothing.

    July 7, 2010 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  14. Obozo's Recod Deficit + Higher Taxes

    You mean the "Socialist" appointee who has repeatedly been quoted as saying he "believes in re-distribution of weatlh to pay for healthcare".

    July 7, 2010 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  15. T

    SO WHAT MAX, you are for the other side anyways. One up on YOU>>
    hehe

    July 7, 2010 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  16. Frank

    I agree with Senator Baucus, President should go normal chanel. He try to by pass. He should show American people he is REALY Leader. If he can not handle it he should Resign.

    July 7, 2010 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  17. Ryan Wing

    The Obama Administration can't afford yet another stalled nominee. Republicans have blocked many key nominees ...

    The Republicans would most certainly block this one no matter who it is as it increases the criticism they can levy towards the health care system. A recess nominee insures someone is in there doing the job, which is what we need. Enough with political games.

    July 7, 2010 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  18. MikeMaz

    When you know the opposing party is going to fight you on every appointment and every thing you want to do...I applaud him for taking the recess road and appointing him. The Republicans would use the same tactics and have.

    July 7, 2010 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  19. KM

    None issue, George W. Bush made 171, Bill Clinton made 139. President Obama has made a total of 18 to date, with a total of 189 nominees pending before the Senate. So who is the group that is dragging their feet?

    July 7, 2010 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  20. kathy

    These are appointees Republicans refused to allow votes on and for which the president's supporters have been pressing for recess appointees.

    President Bush had made 15 recess appointments by this point in his presidency, but he was not facing the same level of obstruction. At this time in 2002, President Bush had only 5 nominees pending on the floor. By contrast, President Obama has 77 nominees currently pending on the floor, 58 of whom have been waiting for over two weeks and 44 of those have been waiting more than a month.

    July 7, 2010 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    So now Obama wants a Medicare administrator who believes in rationing health care. Right up there with "You can keep your plan."

    July 7, 2010 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  22. Bobby

    BHO will blame the world on the other party while at the same time even his own party disagrees with him. This is why his creditibility among voters is so shot. Brainwashed party stompers are going to vote for him regardless. The opposing party will be against him regardless. I guess independents are the only ones that can look in and just shake our heads.

    July 7, 2010 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  23. Chuck Anaheim, Ca

    When it comes to things like this please take all of the pages from the war criminal bush regime book and use them Mr. President. Now, about those war crimes by bush and his lackeys, how bout some investigations and special prosecutors being appointed to handle that while the thugs are out on break.

    July 7, 2010 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  24. ART

    Oh please Presidents have been doing this long before Obama ever took office. This hypocracy needs to stop, not to mention you Republicans try to stymie every nomination the President tries to make, so get over it

    July 7, 2010 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  25. Shari from Madison WI

    Well, I think President Obama did the right thing here. Congress and the house have been so busy with political infighting that they don't give a da***n about doing the right thing. Shame on a democrat for giving the racist , bigoted republicans more ammunition to shoot down anything President Obama wants to do.

    July 7, 2010 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
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