February 9th, 2010
02:15 PM ET
13 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. christi

    To Wrong Kind of Change:

    "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!"

    Unbelievable! Have you been living under a rock or something for the past 8-9 years. How do you think Bush got his appts. done??? He waited until recess and did the exact same thing. It is beginning to make me wonder about people and if they pay attention or WANT to be informed of ANYTHING anymore. Many of the things that are being complained about that THIS president does ARE THE EXACT SAME THING THE PREVIOUS PRESIDENT did and no one heard a single complaint about it then. Why don't you try to grow up damn it, open your ears and eyes and listen to what is going on in Washington instead of constant complaining about the new president. I'm sure if you did this, you would find many other reasons to complain that concern our dear republican friends aka No Party and the spineless dems who won't stand up to the minority party.

    February 9, 2010 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  2. james

    Obama had no problem with Democrats holding up Bush appointments when he was a senator. Of course, he was only a senator for 114 days so he didn't have time to make that big a stink. But the point remains... if he can be this disingenuous over a simple thing like appointments, how disingenuous can he be when he says he wants bipartisanship? November 2012, we dump him and never make the same mistake again, America.

    February 9, 2010 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  3. cynt

    @annie against bias news. your comments is the reason we have so many idiots as yourself out and about this great country. The problem is not the President speech was bad, but you being the moron you are could not follow nor understand. I bet you could follow and understand that idiot palin even though she rambles on and on with her annoying voice.

    February 9, 2010 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  4. Blutarski

    You go ahead and do that Barry, that will go over like a lead balloon with the voters. Geesh, who is advising this clown?

    February 9, 2010 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  5. Quit taking my taxes

    Please do will just cost you more elections in november. 64% of the country does not approve of you fool. Keep doing what you want you little child you and big momma need to go for a run. We dont need somebody 50lbs over weight telling us how to raise our kids. She is like Gibbs giving advice on looking like and being a man.

    February 9, 2010 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  6. mac from pa

    and why did bush do it? so lets just keep the house in sessioin like the givemecrats did

    February 9, 2010 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  7. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    @ WrongKindofChange

    Obama a dictator? Don't make me laugh. Oh how soon we forget how the Bush Administration blatantly violated the National Security Act, pushed all his appointees through, no bid contracts to all his Halliburton and Blackwater buddies. Your point is taken about 3 branches of government and how they're suppose to work. It seems like republicans didn't get the memo. When one senator is holding up appointess who are needed in critical roles, such as NATIONAL SECURITY roles, somethings has got to be done!

    February 9, 2010 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  8. Steph

    Apparently, WoW is fine with senators holding up government business to get pork projects for red states only. How's that "small government" workin' for ya?

    February 9, 2010 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  9. Rose

    It took him a year to make these appointments and now he is in a big hurry. I hope these appointments are better than the ones he has now. I suppose these people are from Chicago too!

    February 9, 2010 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  10. MatthewDetroit

    Barack is a cry baby...

    If you people would remember back a little ways....

    The Democrats in congress did the exact same thing to President Bush with the Ambassordship to the UN by the Name of John Bolton.

    The Dems played the same game... You have to remember most of the games are created by the Dems. They always look for loopholes.

    They are the ones that want to use reconciliation.....

    Boo hoo Barack Boo Hoo...

    February 9, 2010 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  11. chris tx

    I thought the GOP wants to cut pork and Obama spending? WHY is the Rep senator looking for earmarks then and stopping our Government from running – efficiently or not? The people that cheer this guy on have no idea how significant an impact there would be if the Gov. stopped running.

    February 9, 2010 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  12. NC

    Good for you Mr. President. Sorry all of you Racists you no longer run this country.

    February 9, 2010 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  13. Truth Bomb-Thrower

    He's corrupt and under-the-table about everything else. Why should this be any different?

    February 9, 2010 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  14. MatthewDetroit

    Barack is One and Done...

    Move over Jimmy Carter there is a bigger loser then you and his name

    is Barack...

    February 9, 2010 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  15. Chuck Anaheim,Ca

    About time Mr. President! Hell, bush appointed a knuckle dragging mouth breather to the UN that way, go for it!

    February 9, 2010 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  16. harold

    Most comment on issues without a full understanding of the facts. One Senator put a hold on over 70 appointments so he could get ear marks for his State. That is a fact. One Senator doesn't want to vote yes because "he" believes the complete opposite of what the possible appointee says he will do. Guess he is God and knows the man's heart.
    Don't like the man's polices, vote him out but why stop the Country from functioning. The USA is headed down because there are those who want a Class System and that won't happen. The fact of the matter those who talk about Obama ruining it for their grandkids are actually ruining it because they will be in the minority when they grow up and payback is a mother.

    February 9, 2010 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  17. hazel

    Shelby put a hold on 80 nominations because he wanted a contract to go to a French company with plants in his state instead of to an American company that has no plants in his state. It had nothing to do with anyone's qualifications.

    The ticker article says Shelby has since cancelled the hold on most of the nominees.

    What happened? Did he get caught looking like a schoolyard bully, trying to get the bigger piece of pork pie?

    Shelby should be ashamed of himself...and he should be ashamed he lent another whalloping dose of affirmation that his party is the party of spoiled brats hollering, "NO," at every turn.

    February 9, 2010 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
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