The House Judiciary Committee announced on Monday that the committee will examine the constitutionality of President Obama's recent recess appointments, including that of CFPB Director Richard Cordray.
Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) called President Obama's recess appointments "unprecedented" and "possibly unconstitutional," adding that they threaten the system of checks and balances.
"It sets a dangerous precedent for future administrations that want to avoid transparency and the constitutional role of the Senate to vote on certain nominations," Smith said.
President Obama appointed Richard Cordray as the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau earlier this month. He also appointed three members to the National Board of Labor.
The Constitution grants the president the authority to make appointments while the Senate is in recess. Smith contends, however, that the president abused his power by bypassing congressional approval during a period when the lawmakers were not in recess.
"These appointments continue the administration's pattern of manipulating Executive authority to avoid having to secure support from Congress," Smith said. "Pro forma sessions were never meant to be a window for the Administration to appoint whomever it likes to powerful government positions. This power grab threatens the role of Congress and raises serious constitutional questions."