No More Mr. Nice Obama

There’s a common and compelling logic to President Obama’s recess appointments today of Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Board and of three appointees to the National Labor Relations Board. In the case of both boards, the appointments were necessary if the boards were to function at al—the very reason that Senate Republicans had made clear their determination to appoint nobody at all to the two boards.

In December, Republicans filibustered Cordray’s nomination, stating clearly that they had nothing in particular against Cordray but were opposed to the existence of the board itself, which had come into being as part of the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Act passed by Congress in 2010. Lacking the votes to repeal the act, Republicans chose instead to kill the board by refusing to confirm a director, without which the board could not fully, or even substantially, function.

At the NLRB, the expiration of board member Craig Becker’s term at the end of December left the board, which is supposed to have five members, with just two. In recent decades, as American business has increasingly refused to recognize unions’ right to exist, all appointments to the one board that ensures workers’ right to unionize have been politically charged. Ronald Reagan and both Presidents Bush made recess appointments to the board to overcome congressional opposition to their choices. During the last years of the more recent Bush’s term, the board was down to just two members, and last year, the Supreme Court ruled that a two-member board, lacking a quorum, had no power to make or enforce any rulings.

Congressional Republicans have raged at the board over the past year over General Counsel Lafe Solomon’s decision to hear a case testing whether Boeing could relocate a plant in response to strike threats (the case has since been withdrawn). Becker’s departure would have enabled Obama to submit three candidates for board membership– two Democrats, one Republican—to the Senate for confirmation, but GOP Senate leaders made clear that they wanted to keep the board’s size down to an impotent two. Had they succeeded, any company or union could have appealed an election result or any other matter to the board with the assurance that the board could do nothing about the appeal. In essence, employers could have forestalled their workers’ decision to unionize indefinitely.

Ironically, when Republicans in 2009 and 2010 successfully opposed the Employee Free Choice Act, which would have enabled workers to unionize by submitting signed cards and foregoing a board-supervised election, they argued that such elections were essential to democratic industrial relations. Now, however, they support bringing the operations of the board that runs those elections to a halt by declining to staff it.

As I’ve written before, the Republicans’ policy is one of agency-cide—the killing of a federal agency they don’t like by refusing to confirm the appointments required to make it run. It’s a back-door way to repeal federal law establishing such agencies, a course the GOP has taken precisely because it lacks the votes to dis-establish them. By making his recess appointments today, Obama hasn’t, as Republicans allege, arrogated congressional power to himself. Rather, he’s restored the right of majorities that enact legislation not to have that legislation negated by congressional minorities. He’s also sending one more signal that the days of his accommodating Republican rejectionists are over.


It will be very 'interesting' to see how much 'Obama' get's accomplished between now & November 2012.... He's broken the law that he signed... The DODD-FRANK Bill, that establishes the Consumer Protection Board, has it written into the law that the Director MUST BE CONFIRMED BY CONGRESS.... This was designed to be a 'Board' with oversight from Congress, but now Mr. Cordray will answer to NO ONE!! NO OVERSIGHT whatsoever, and he'll work with the TREASURY DEPT... Wow, how nice, no oversight... get ready for FINANCIAL COLLAPSE!! This just complete OBAMA's 'New World Order' and he will be DICTATOR...

When there is a 'Republican President', the Democrats will see how it feels to be circumvented ... In the meantime, Obama is getting BOLDER ... and more DANGEROUS.... Keep the powder dry folks... it's coming to a revolution soon!!

Cordray was in fact confirmed by the Senate, 53-45 along party lines. A filibuster threat blocked that vote. A filibuster does not negate the fact that a majority voted for confirmation, which is all the Constitution requires. No laws were broken, but laws were once again abused--not by the President, but by the Republicans. But you knew this, or should have known, before you decided to regale us with your upper case paranoid delusions. New world order? Really? Really?

"When there is a 'Republican President', the Democrats will see how it feels to be circumvented."

I think the Democrats already know how it feels. W made 171 recess appointments during his eight years in office or around 21 per year. Obama has made 28 during his first three years, or just over 9 per year.

The GOP/TP strategy is to make the government dysfunctional in the numerous cases where they don't approve of the laws establishing agencies they want to eliminate. The framers never would have allowed this nonsense if they had been prescient enough to anticipate it. The many "rules"by which Congress distorts and subverts its Constitutional functions should be eliminated, but that will never happen for obvious reasons. The wonder today is that the American people put up with this subversion of the democratic process. The GOP/TP have made it an art form. Of course, they have descended to a mere travesty of their former respectability as a party.

There are a lot of people who are suggesting that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is the “Big Brother” that nobody really wants. The government has used payday cash advances as an excuse to start this agency, those people say. Sadly, payday loans are actually a fantastic source for individuals when they have an emergency. Go to Payday Loan to find out more.

Agency appointments, Executive Orders, Czar appointees controlling vast areas of the Private Sector Economy, Rogue Agency Appointees AKA EPA< DOE> Dept of Labor,,,> all excellent examples of an admin that would dearly love to be able to simply Decrees, "Let it be so" IE the Pharoes of Egypt. Fortunately we have a damaged somewhate Tri equal Republic government.
Laws passed, signed and implemented are there to be obeyed, not selectively obeyed. Executive orders are for clearly defined and examined needs, not capricious paybacks for funders.
This Admin has abused and twisted the executive powers into a monstrous parady of Chi Town Politics. Enough and good riddance.
May the Chaldean Hand on the Wall be read by these Leftists.
Semper Fi

If you vote for President Obama no matter what he does or doesn't do, especially if it's against what YOU believe, then that's your problem. You don't know what President Obama knows or thinks, and you don't know what the rest of us will do since you don't know the operation of anyone's mind except your own. You don't have to vote for him...there are a few other options on the table for your use, maybe you should utilize one of those.
Jason from

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(If there's one thing we know about comment trolls, it's that they're lazy)