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. all the news that's fit to omit

    Do some research on this nominee, HE IS TOTALLY and without question FOR RATIONING health care and he is on record as saying so.

    This is not the Republicans fault, but Oweblamo being the gutless lying tool the rest of us know he is.

    July 7, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  2. eric_in_texas

    so much for that whole transparent process, no backdoor business as usual politics for President Obama. Is this the change that we expected?

    July 7, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  3. KPATL

    Yet another Middle finger salute to Representative Government by our Bafoon in Chief,.... What will the Dems say when he takes something away from them that they care about,...? How about Choice in general? The 2nd amendment? or maybe there ability to Vote on Anything?

    When will people wake up to what this guy is doing to our country?

    July 7, 2010 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  4. keeth in california

    It is his right as president.

    July 7, 2010 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  5. Pat F

    I'll tell you why, Sen. Baucus:

    Because the president knows his extreme left-wing, ivory tower, kill-the-old-people choice for CMS would have NEVER made it through the process. And the health care reform bill is like rotting fish – airing it out will NEVER make it smell sweet.

    You're welcome.

    July 7, 2010 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  6. Djinn

    If Senate confirmation is an "essential process" why have the Repugnicans sat on their hands when they should have been processing all of the President's nominees??? If they want to play political football, they can't whine when the other team scores.

    July 7, 2010 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  7. Mesa Mick

    What are you the village idiot Baucus?

    You know da13n well that the GOP obstructionists would just put another one of their "secret holds" on Dr. Berwick just to further muck up Obama's attempts and governing the country.

    Stop being a shill for the party of NO! Baucus, your state and your country both deserve better...

    July 7, 2010 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  8. Marge

    Why do people insist on calling this republican creepoid a Democrat. He has done nothing but vote republican republican republican. too bad he can't be made to register as one.

    July 7, 2010 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  9. pc

    this is what's wrong with president obama's ratings with the american people. not only has he had the republicans to say NO and stop everything he needs to do but he also has his own party working against him. the democrats in washington are all spinless and obama would do much better if all the dems in both houses were replaced with fresh blood that would help our president get things moving in the right direction.the republicans are worthless and now should be the time for all democrats to come together as one team and fix america!

    July 7, 2010 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  10. Sandra, ATL

    Maybe if you are so disappointed you should be doing your job instead of letting the Republicans continually stall for political gain.

    July 7, 2010 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  11. Padraig

    Shame, shame Mr. Baucus, you are not toting the party line. Play nice now or you will be excused from the table.

    July 7, 2010 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  12. Jane

    Then Baucus should get off his fat a$$ and confirm these appointments.

    July 7, 2010 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  13. Dan

    This is the same guy who took upteen months to get some semblance of a health care reform bill out of the committee that he heads. Talk about leadership. Stop whining. Obama did the right thing.

    July 7, 2010 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  14. Sthamikat

    Bush made 171 recess appointments. 'Nuff said.

    July 7, 2010 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  15. Darth Vadik, CA

    Remember that nut bag called John Bolton, the one that not even his mother liked, the one who was for unrestricted bombing (and of throwing staplers at) Iran. The one that was not going to be approved even by crazy Republicans, remember that Bush recess appointment????

    God forbid Obama appoints someone to immediately head the Medicare and Medicaid programs, instead of doing the usual Congress thing of lets wait for 3 months to decide whether we are going to have a vote...

    Get over it, and open the debate after you come back from your recess Mr. Berwick.

    July 7, 2010 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  16. Riley

    Obama is alienating almost everyone. HE IS SO CLUELESS!!!

    July 7, 2010 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  17. Richard in California

    Regardless whether or not I agree with Dr. Berwick's philosophy on health care and its role in modern society (that quality health care for all necessarily means a redistribution of resources from the more wealthy to the those who are not) Sen. Baucus needs to point his finger to those who are actually responsible for causing this recess appointment, the Republican Senators, who represent the Party of No.

    By denying everything that President Obama proposes, they deny the American people the chance to progress out of this economic recession. By denying Dr. Berwick a true Senate confirmation hearing, The Republicans show their obstructionist political philosophy.

    By the way, healthy poor people means a significant cost savings on overall health care spent in this country, which will reduce everyone's health care costs. In other words, those who can pay will pay less. A $20 flu shot is a lot less expensive than a $5000 emergency room visit.

    July 7, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  18. Ken in NC

    RINO, Republican In Name Only. That is what Republicans have in their fictional Republicans all the way from the prehistoric ages. Democrats have the pet that was a favorite of Fred Flinstone. Democrats have DINO, Democrats In Name Only. That is Chairman Max Baucus. In fact he is more like an undercover Republican. If he and Republicans would start working with this President then he would not have to by-pass them to make appointments. Republicans, however, are doing everything they can to stop this administration from functioning. Personally, I am tired of the BS being put down by thos fools that think themselves to be GODS in the Senate and that includes Republicans and their suck-ups like Baucus.

    July 7, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  19. JB

    Oh WAAAAAA. Enough with the games, there's work to be done and the positions need to be filled.

    July 7, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  20. bill

    baucus is in tight with healthcare and incurance companys.its good president went over his head.the U.S.SENATE IS A DO NOTHING.BUNCH OF LOOSERSindiana lost evan bayh because his wife is big in healthcare.GOOD RIDDENCE.

    July 7, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  21. PalmReader

    Max Baucus is one of the many on the right that are definitely yawn material. How he ever got elected to begin with is a mystery. Mind boggling on how many foolish GOPers there are in America.

    Guess this is as good a time as any to take a break from politics . . .

    July 7, 2010 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  22. The Other Micheal in Houston

    Senator Baucas, your statement would hold some weight if the Republican party actually would allow the hearing to take place. Besides, President Obama did not violate the law or the Constitution, he has every right to do that, like it or not. Okay now here comes the Republikkkan Nazi Jihadist with the they hate the President in 5..4...3..2...1

    July 7, 2010 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  23. Bob

    Atleast someone is standing up for what's right instead of following Pelosi/Reid/Obama like a lost puppy!

    July 7, 2010 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  24. Sniffit

    George W. Bush made 139 recess appointments
    Clinton made 140
    George Bush made 77
    Ronald Reagan made 243.

    This is Obama's FIFTEENTH.

    You hyper-critical tin-foil-hat-wearing Limbot soldiers can shut up now.

    As for Baucus, he's clearly slightly retarded and it's been apparent for some time now. Just like the GOPers who are vomiting bilious nonsense about this appointment, Baucus is just mad that he didn't have an opportunity to make some political hay with the appointment hearings.

    July 7, 2010 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  25. lolo

    What did you expect when most of you politicians will not work with the man. When he reaches out for your advice you turn away from him. When he tries to go on his own then you call him a failure. America needs to wake up. Vote out all of the old democrats and republicans. They do not understand that America has changed since they were young men. They have held office too long. We need new young blood and ideas.

    July 7, 2010 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
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