Consumer Financial Protection Bureau supporters are pressing the Obama administration to do anything in its power to get a director in place and are arguing that Republican obstruction has made it necessary.
“If a recess appointment is what it takes…so be it,” Travis Plunkett, a legislative director for the Consumer Federation of America, said, TheHill.com reports. ”They’ve [Republicans] brought that on themselves.”
After Senate Republicans blocked the president’s nomination of former Ohio attorney general Richard Cordray to direct the new bureau, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) blocked several other nominees until the White House assured the Senate it would use its recess appointment power with “respect.”
The White House has been studying its options for making a recess appointment. Because the House and the Senate have remained in pro forma sessions that technically keep them in session, the president cannot officially make a recess appointment.
However, Article 2, Section 3 of the Constitutions grants the president the authority to force Congress to go into recess if the two sides are unable to agree on when to break. No president has ever used such power.
Democrats expect that Republicans would react angrily if the White House used that right.
“It might be necessary to take unprecedented steps even though nobody, including me, wanted them,” Plunkett said, according to TheHill.com. “I don’t want to see the Senate at war over this, but I’m not sure there are that many choices left."