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Thursday, September 30, 2010

New Senate Deal: No more recess appointments by Obama

President Barack Obama won't be able to make recess appointments under a bipartisan Senate deal struck Wednesday night.

Under the deal, the Senate will hold pro forma sessions - where the presiding officer will gavel in, and gavel out - so that the chamber technically will stay in session, even though legislative business won't occur until after the November elections. By technically staying in session about twice a week, Obama won't be able to use his constitutional authority to bypass the Senate and install political appointees temporarily during extended recesses.

Both sides got a partial victory out of Wednesday night's accord. It ensures that Republican senators can't send Obama's nominees back to the White House, which would have forced the administration to renominate the choices even if they were partially through the legislative process. Senators have the authority to send back judicial and executive branch nominees if the chamber recesses for more than 30 days, and doing so would have angered Democrats trying to shepherd through a slew of stalled Obama nominees.

And Republicans scored a victory by ensuring Obama can't make recess appointments before the Senate returns for official business November 15. (POLITICO)

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