Livid at delays in the confirmation process for 90 of the president’s nominations, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said on Friday that he would encourage President Obama to make even more unconstitutional non-recess appointments if Republicans did not accede to his demands.
“Virtually every one of these nominees could be approved today if the Senate Republicans would cooperate,” Reid exclaimed. “If something doesn’t break here, I am going to recommend to the president he recess appoint all these people, every one of them.”
The nominees were not being blocked, though Reid tried to characterize it that way. While a handful of Senators have vowed to oppose every nomination the president submits util he rescinds his four non-recess appointments, they don’t have the 40 votes needed to filibuster them.
But they can prevent nominations from sailing through the Senate by unanimous consent, and that is just what they have done.
Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), the Senate’s most vocal critic of the non-recess appointments, has vowed to oppose all nominations until the president submits Richard Cordray and the three new members of the National Labor Relations Board to the Senate to undergo the full advice and consent procedures.
Lee fired back at Reid in a news release of his own: “It is odd, to say the least, for the Senate Majority Leader to suggest that unless we stop responding to the President’s unconstitutional actions, more unconstitutional actions will follow,” he said.
“This is not a partisan issue for me,” he said. “I would be equally outraged if this were a Republican president doing this same thing.”