Mitch McConnell Hopes You Won't Do the Math

By James Fallows

mcconnell-mitch.jpgIn response to President Obama's "what took him so long?" recess appointment of Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Board, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell responded thus, according to CNN:

"President Obama, in an unprecedented move, has arrogantly circumvented the American people by 'recess' appointing Richard Cordray as director of the new CFPB," said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in a statement.

Let's take this in order:

"Unprecedented move"? There is some technical dispute about when the Congress is and is not in recess. But the only thing "unprecedented" about Obama's use of recess appointments is how rarely he has done it. According to the Congressional Research Service, Bill Clinton made 139 recess appointments in 8 years, and George Bush made 171. According to Wikipedia (only source I immediately found), Obama made 28 in his first three years -- or less than half of Bush's rate, 9+ per year versus 21+.

"Arrogantly circumvented"? At the moment, Obama is the elected president of the United States. The Consumer Financial Protection Board was approved by both houses of Congress and duly signed into law by the president. There is no doubt that Cordray would receive a majority Senate vote in favor of his appointment -- if the nomination were ever allowed to come to a vote. And Obama is the one "arrogantly circumventing" Constitutional processes and the American people? Seriously, this kind of thing need to be called out for what it is: nonsense.

Thanks to WRM of Louisiana.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/01/mitch-mcconnell-hopes-you-wont-do-the-math/250897/