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Adventures in the World’s Worst Deliberative Body


Apparently, Richard Cordray would be a pretty good choice to replace Elizabeth Warren as the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. And hence has no chance of being confirmed, as the powerful-enough minority party is opposed to consumer protection in general. (And, yes, I’d rather have Warren as a Senate candidate than in a one-year interim appointment.)

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  • Davis

    Warren vs Brown in Mass? Of course!

  • Jim Lynch

    Right. God forbid that Obama tell the GOP to stick it where the sun don’t shine, and make a recess appointment of an eminently qualified individual. And Warren just might be elected senator. Better yet, she might marry into the English Royal family. Or embark on a new career, and discover a cure for the common cold. If malcontent liberals aren’t satisfied with that? Well, that’s their tough shit.

    • mark f

      What if there are multiple people qualified to run the agency? What if not taking a recess appointment or playing the filibuster game was as much her preference as Obama’s?

      • Ed

        I understand Warren was ready and willing to put up a fight for the agency she has been building. If she changed her mind the Administration probably “persuaded” her to do so. I think Incontinentia put the odds of her getting it at 1 in 10, and in retrospect they were probably less than that.

        At present the Senate seat looks like a pipe dream.

    • He IS going to make a recess appointment of an eminently qualified individual.

      He just didn’t choose the eminently-qualified individual in the poster handing over your bed.

      Rather, he chose someone with a longer record at actually running a large organization.

      • Murc

        Wait, he is?

        All the reports I’ve been seeing have been that he was sending Cordray to the Senate, not that he was planning to recess him. I haven’t seen any information that he was planning to recess appoint him, although he certainly should.

        • True enough. I was responding to the “didn’t pick Elizabeth Warren” point.

      • rea

        You have to have a recess to make a recess appointment. Don’t think we’ll see one this year . . .

        • bay of arizona

          The President does have the power to adjourn Congress, and there is nothing in the Constitution about both houses needing to be in recess, just the Senate, where a motion to adjourn is not subject to a filibuster.

    • David Hunt

      God forbid that Obama tell the GOP to stick it where the sun don’t shine, and make a recess appointment of an eminently qualified individual.

      Um…last I heard the Republicans in the Senate were going out of their way to make sure that the Senate would never be in recess while there was even a possibility that Warren might be given a recess appointment. The fact that the Republicans were going to that much effort because she’d be that good of an appointment doesn’t matter if she never gets in.Under those circumstances, I can see why Obama would nominate someone else, even if Warren was willing to put her life on hold waiting for the GOP in the Senate to become sane.

      I don’t know if Cordray has a chance either, but I can see why Warren would decide to not wait on that. Being elected to the Senate would also have the ironic revenge of it being a position that they couldn’t filibuster her out of.

      • Walt

        Can they actually do this “forever”, i.e. until 2012? Or is there some limit to their ability other than the end of the current Congressional term?

      • Joe


        Can someone clarify if the minority in the Senate can block recesses or is it that the House (see, Art. 1, sec. 5) can do it since both houses need to agree on adjournment.

        The article also notes the President, when the two on in disagreement (can Republicans block a vote to show they are?), can adjourn Congress. I don’t know if this ever was done before as compared to him convening special sessions.

        • Bill Murray

          I don’t know if it’s possible, but even if it is, no Democrat capable of getting elected these days would adjourn Congress. I’m not sure they should try anyway, as that way leads to dictatorship

          • Joe

            A two week adjournment isn’t quite the road to dictatorship especially if it is a matter of a minority blocking the nominations of the majority. That doesn’t seem too ideal either.

            The provision is there after all. Not that I think he will use it.

            • Bill Murray

              he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper;

              There is no two week limit in there, so the article would certainly make dictatorship much easier to achieve

            • Hell, Bush made appointments during the one-week Easter recess in 2007!

            • mark f

              If I were Barack Obama and planning to run for re-election next year, and a whole bunch of people with big microphones were always talking about how I was the petulant liberal fascist usurper king, I’d probably say to myself, “Hmm, I’m not getting what I want. Here’s an idea: I should unilaterally adjourn the legislative body!”

              • Bill Murray

                Plus, the presidential power only occurs if there is disagreement on adjournment. If this seemed likely to occur (and it doesn’t for the reasons Mr. f says) the House would stay in session just like the senate to negate the president’s ability to adjourn Congress

                • Joe

                  The article suggests that the HOUSE is leading the way here.

                  Thus, my question if the Republicans can actually filibuster adjournment. If not, the Dems vote for adjournment, the House doesn’t. Thus, the disagreement that might be settled by the President.

                  The provision is in the Constitution so this talk of “dictatorship” is a bit overblown. Also, it is not like the “Long Parliament” or something. The President can’t keep Congress adjourned indefinitely or anything.

                  The two weeks is just an example; it’s what the Senate would normally do during the Summer of something w/o deadlock. Why a minority blocking the majority is “democratic” but two elected groups (the President and the Senate) in a small way balancing things out by using a provision in the Constitution is the road to dictatorship is unclear.

                  He won’t do it, but hey, if he wants to explain, he can show a video whatever person read that provision when the House read the Constitution. Unless it was one of the things left out.

    • Huh? A liberal Democrat winning a Senate seat in Massachusetts is only as likely as them marrying a British royal now?

  • Davis X. Machina

    All Obama had to do to avoid a filibuster was nominate Wendy Lee Gramm. She‘s a professor. Has experience running a regulatory agency. Send her name up the Hill, I guarantee no filibuster.

    I don’t know why there’s this wild-ass presumption that a President with a majority of Senators of his own party should expect his nominees to be approved by the Senate.

    Democracy — real American democracy — doesn’t work that way.

  • Stag Party Palin

    Turn those [spell-checking] machines back on!

    — Mortimer Duke

  • DrDick

    The Republicans are not about to confirm any well qualified candidate and possibly will block any nominee in order to prevent the agency from performing its tasks. They hate this agency and are determined to destroy it by whatever means necessary and possible.

  • superking

    Umm, didn’t Warren rule out running for the Senate? I thought she said no to that job a while back. So, it’s great that everyone wants her there, but I doubt it’s going to happen.

    • superking

      Ok, I just checked, apparently, she hasn’t said no, but hasn’t made up her mind, according to reports from May.

      • jeer9

        From all the interviews I’ve read about or seen with Warren, she seems to put a fairly high premium on government agencies being productive and efficient. Why she would then be interested in joining the worst deliberative body in the world remains a mystery. Why Massachusetts Dems, after Coakley, want her is perfectly understandable. I don’t think she’s cut out for the campaign/fundraising “Rotarians were the first people to call John the Baptist Jack” happy talk, and I don’t believe she’s susceptible to much arm-twisting … which is unfortunate for us as we need more people like her in government. I’d love to be surprised.

  • p j

    when the word gets out that Cordray is competent, look for the Rs to put the brakes on his appointment. They can’t help themselves.

  • Steve LaBonne

    Speaking as an Ohioan I have to say that Cordray is an excellent choice. I hope that he will be installed via a recess appointment.

    • urban meemaw

      I agree, Steve. Cordray is quite impressive and accomplished. Maybe the Rethugs will have some new bright shiny object to divert their attention from his nomination.

  • Jim Lynch

    “..last I heard the Republicans in the Senate were going out of their way to make sure that the Senate would never be in recess”.

    Um, then Obama should have had some fun at their expense, and insured they were forced to stick around D.C.

    As he might have deigned explain to his rank and file just why Warren wasn’t nominated. Like, “as you know, the GOP is the party of Rule or Ruin, and I’m conceding this round”.

  • Stag Party Palin

    when the word gets out that Cordray is competent, look for the Rs to put the brakes on his appointment.

    They’ll change their minds (sic) when they hear about his great-great-great grandmother, though. She stabbed a reporter.

    • Stag Party Palin

      Um, make that his great-great-great-great aunt. She died a virgin.

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