So is Congress in Recess or Not?

Diane Black, a first-term Member of the House from Tennessee, is apparently the lead cosponsor of a resolution condemning the recent recess appointments, but House Republicans might really want to reconsider their choice. Black, according to Roll Call (emphasis added):

“It’s astounding to me that the president is claiming these are recess appointments and within his authority, when Congress was not in fact in recess,” Black said. “These appointments are an affront to the Constitution. No matter how you look at this, it doesn’t pass the smell test. I hope the House considers my resolution as soon as we return to Washington so we can send a message to President Obama.”

She continued:

“What’s more, the NLRB appointments were jammed through by the president before the Senate even had the chance to consider the appointees. Their names were only put forward on Dec. 15, a mere two days before the Senate recessed for the holiday. The president is clearly out of bounds here and should not be allowed to skirt the Constitution as he pleases.”

Oh — in case you’re wondering whether maybe Roll Call botched the quotes…no, they’re taken directly from Black’s press release. So we’re to believe that it’s outrageous for the president to call what’s happening now a recess, and the House intends to take it up as soon as they get back into town after recessing for the holiday.

Well then. Case closed?

[Cross-posted at A plain blog about politics]

Jonathan Bernstein

Jonathan Bernstein is a political scientist who writes about American politics, especially the presidency, Congress, parties, and elections.