Congressman Jeff Duncan Blocks President Obama's Ability to Make Constitutionally Questionable Recess Appointments

July 7, 2011
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC- Freshman Congressman Jeff Duncan will return to Washington Tuesday to preside over the House of Representatives, preventing President Obama from making recess appointments.

“I took an oath to protect the Constitution of the United States” said Duncan.  “Every Presidential appointment requires strict scrutiny, but that’s not possible when the President bypasses the constitutional screening process.  I’m going to do everything possible to hold the President and his nominees accountable to the people and to the Constitution.”

The Constitution states that the US Senate must confirm the President’s nominees for judgeships, cabinet secretaries, federal agencies, boards, and many other positions.

However, Article II, Section II of the United States Constitution states that the President may bypass the required confirmation process by making temporary appointments if the Senate is in recess. By gaveling the House into session on Tuesday afternoon, Duncan will prevent the Democrat controlled Senate from recessing, thus blocking the President from unilaterally appointing government officials who would otherwise require confirmation.

The President’s last recess appointment was Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).  That recess appointment helped the NLRB initiate a lawsuit against Boeing for building a new facility outside of Charleston, South Carolina that would create thousands of jobs for the state.

“With conservatives in control of the House, the President knows the best way to enact the most radical parts of his agenda is by influencing federal departments and agencies,” said Duncan. “The EPA’s creating new job-killing regulations, the NLRB’s bolstering union bosses, and all of this is happening without any legislation from Congress or accountability from the American people.  Ensuring that Presidential nominees are qualified and properly scrutinized is the first step in ending these record abuses of power.”

Duncan, who held several listening sessions with constituents last week to hear their concerns, said voters were giving him a very clear message. “With our national debt spiraling out of control and renegade government agencies like the NLRB on the attack, we’re at a point in our nation’s history where compromise is dangerous.  The people I talk to are asking me to keep fighting against the policies coming out of Washington,” said Duncan.  “Stopping the President from getting a free pass in the nomination process is an important part of that fight, and one that I’m looking forward to winning on behalf of the people of South Carolina.”