Reid plans Thanksgiving Senate session to prevent recess appointments
Democrats are refusing to be made turkeys over the holidays by a lame duck president, a capitol newspaper reports.
"Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has decided to keep the chamber in session over the Thanksgiving break to block President Bush from making any unsavory recess appointments while Senators are out of town," Erin P. Billings reports for Roll Call.
Reid explained Friday, "With the Thanksgiving break looming, the administration informed me that they would make several recess appointments. I indicated I would be willing to confirm various appointments if the administration would agree to move on Democratic appointments."
"They would not make that commitment," the Senate Majority Leader added.
Excerpts from article:
In a statement inserted in the record Friday, the Majority Leader said he will hold the Senate in a series of pro forma or nonvoting sessions to prevent the controversial practice. In the statement, Reid argued that nominations need to get on track, and that Bush has not met the Democrats “halfway” in agreeing to Democratically backed nominees to “important commissions.”
“While an election year looms, significant progress can still be made on nominations,” Reid said. “I am committed to making that progress if the President will meet me halfway.
“But that progress can’t be made if the President seeks controversial recess appointments and fails to make Democratic appointments to important commissions.”
Senate sources said Reid made the decision after he was unable to strike a deal with White House officials that would have allowed swift consideration of several key Democratic picks for the executive branch. In his statement, Reid points to the Federal Communications Commission, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Nuclear Regulatory Commission as examples where Democratic choices have not been moved along.
“Up until recently, the President has generally discharged that obligation,” Reid said. “In the last several months, however, the administration has been stalling progress on Democratic appointments.”
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