How about some late-night good news from Capitol Hill? Senate Republicans did something right, stood their ground, and forced Democrats to bow on blocking White House recess appointments during the midterm election break.
See? Saying no — HELL NO — can pay off. Via The Hill:
Senate Democrats agreed Wednesday night to a Republican demand to block President Obama from making recess appointments while Congress is out of town campaigning for the midterm elections.
Democratic leaders have agreed to schedule pro-forma sessions of the Senate every week over the next six weeks, a move that will prevent Obama from making emergency appointments, according to Senate sources briefed on the talks.
Democrats agreed earlier in the day to a Republican demand to cut spending levels for government agencies in order to pass a stop-gap spending measure.
Democrats are eager to get back home to defend their record to voters and they couldn’t do that until the spending bill passed.
Under the law, the president can only make a recess appointment if the Senate is adjourned for more than three consecutive days.
By scheduling pro-forma sessions on Mondays and Fridays, lawmakers can take away Obama’s ability to make recess appointments.
Which means no more stealthy, sunlight-evading cut-and-run appointments like Speedy Don Berwick for the next six weeks.
As for blaming the GOP for Senate obstructionism, it’s not a Republican who put a hold on Obama’s OMB nominee. Ahem:
A swift confirmation of President Obama’s choice to lead the Office of Management and Budget appears unlikely as a Democratic senator said Wednesday she will maintain a hold on the nomination.
With lawmakers set to leave town for the midterm recess, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) will keep her hold on Jacob J. Lew’s nomination as OMB director because of the Obama administration’s “ill-conceived moratoria on offshore drilling that are having such a devastating impact on working people and small businesses through the Gulf Coast,” she said.
“The administration, for whatever reason, has stood in defiance of our federal courts and disregarded economists, experts and its own economic data in proceeding down a path that is putting thousands of people out of work and hurting the bottom line of hundreds of small businesses,” Landrieu said in a statement.
You can say that again, lady.
Afterthought: I know. Obama could go the Elizabeth Warren route, but I’m not sure he can afford to alienate any more Democrats on the Hill. Thoughts?