Results 1 to 19 of 19

Thread: Senate stays in session to block Bush recess appointments

  1. #1
    Moderator Roody's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Central Florida
    Posts
    30,761

    Post Senate stays in session to block Bush recess appointments

    WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Senators have left town for the Thanksgiving holiday, but the Senate will technically stay in session -- a move that keeps President Bush from making appointments while lawmakers are in recess.

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, said he would schedule "pro forma" sessions during the two-week break, even though lawmakers will be absent and no business will be conducted.

    The Constitution gives a president the power to fill vacancies without the Senate's confirmation when the legislative body is in recess. Such appointees can serve without confirmation through the rest of the current session of Congress, which ends in January 2009.

    Bush has used the power before to install nominees whose confirmation Senate Democrats had blocked. The most notable instance came in August 2005 when he angered Democrats by naming John Bolton as U.N. ambassador.

    "My hope is that this will prompt the president to see that it is in our mutual interests for the nominations process to get back on track," Reid said in a statement.

    Reid said the Bush administration had informed him that several recess appointments would be made during the Thanksgiving break. At the same time, Reid said the White House has been unwilling to confirm nominations Democratic leaders have suggested for agencies such as the Federal Communications, Federal Energy Regulatory and Nuclear Regulatory commissions.

    "I indicated I would be willing to confirm various appointments if the administration would agree to move on Democratic appointments," he said. "They would not make that commitment. As a result, I am keeping the Senate in pro forma [session] to prevent recess appointments until we get this process on track."

    Asked Friday if Bush planned on making any recess appointments, White House spokesman Tony Fratto said, "I have nothing for you on that."

    Fratto added, "We don't talk about or speculate on personnel appointments until we're ready to announce them."

    The lawmakers left for their break Friday without passing any major bills that they were trying to get done before the break.

    An effort to pass a temporary funding bill for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan stalled on procedural votes.

    Democratic leaders in the House and Senate -- who want to make the money conditional on setting dates for bringing troops home -- indicated they don't expect to return to the issue until early next year. The White House and congressional Republicans -- who want the money without strings attached -- are pushing for votes in December.

    The long-sought $286 billion farm bill, which sets the nation's agriculture policies and provides for subsidies to farmers, also stalled on a procedural vote Friday after senators spent two weeks of floor time unable to agree on a set of amendments to the otherwise popular bill.

    Competing proposals to stave off the effect of the alternative minimum tax from millions of middle-class voters this tax season is stuck in negotiations between Democrats and Republicans, who agree the tax should be abolished but can't agree on how, or whether, to pay for it.

    The children's health insurance bill known as the State Children's Health Insurance Program, or SCHIP, which Bush vetoed once, is bogged down in the House. House Democrats have been unable to persuade wavering Republicans to agree to a proposal that would expand the program and win enough support to override Bush's veto. There are enough votes to override it in the Senate.

    Most of the spending legislation Congress was supposed to pass before October will be wrapped into one "omnibus" bill to be voted on sometime in December.

    The Democratic-authored spending bills have been stalled. They are $22 billion more than what Bush said he would agree to spend this year.

    The White House quickly rejected a proposal from Reid to halve the extra funding to $11 billion. Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Arizona, floated a counter offer, suggesting Republicans might go along with the extra funding of domestic programs if Democrats agree to pass the war money free of conditions.

    There has been no official response yet from Democratic leaders, but one Democratic aide said he didn't think his bosses would accept Kyl's proposal.
    For Burke

  2. #2
    So, pork isn't on the menu on the hill this year, eh?

  3. #3
    ♫♪ ♫♪ ♫♪ ♫♪ downhill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    My Own Private Idaho
    Posts
    34,796
    It's a fruitless endeavor.

    The Dems are just going to get more labeling as not doing their jobs...even though it's a partisan issue, again.

    I can already here the lamatations of Limbaugh, beating his chest and crying out that the libs have once again, stalled congress...

  4. #4
    Moderator Roody's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Central Florida
    Posts
    30,761
    Personally I like this move if only to stop recent history of the lousy choices the President has made during recess. Bolton comes to mind.

  5. #5
    ♫♪ ♫♪ ♫♪ ♫♪ downhill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    My Own Private Idaho
    Posts
    34,796
    LOL....well yeah Bolton was a terrible choice but hey...what a great suck up!

  6. #6
    It just reeks of payback ....the dems are pissed they didn't get to load up the <insert name of bill here> with oodles of pork so they're going to block an appointee......not that that's a bad thing considering Bushie's nominations in the past....I'm sorta torn on this one.

  7. #7
    ♫♪ ♫♪ ♫♪ ♫♪ downhill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    My Own Private Idaho
    Posts
    34,796
    Actually I dint' think that's the case, Izzo. The admin has a history of nominating a terrible choice for whatever position. Usually as a payback for being loyal to the president and nothing to do with actual experience except for a few positions for judges and so forth.

    So when congress stalls, the President appoints that person anyway when congress isn't in session. I should also note that for the most part, those appointments do have a time limit on them.

    What Reid is doing is keeping the President from making another appointment who really doesn't fit the bill.

    What's wrong with the President tying to nominate anyone that both sides can agree on? That way we end up with a moderate in that position and not all this infighting.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by downhill View Post
    Actually I dint' think that's the case, Izzo. The admin has a history of nominating a terrible choice for whatever position. Usually as a payback for being loyal to the president and nothing to do with actual experience except for a few positions for judges and so forth.

    So when congress stalls, the President appoints that person anyway when congress isn't in session. I should also note that for the most part, those appointments do have a time limit on them.

    What Reid is doing is keeping the President from making another appointment who really doesn't fit the bill.

    What's wrong with the President tying to nominate anyone that both sides can agree on? That way we end up with a moderate in that position and not all this infighting.
    It may not be the case ....it certainly smells like it.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    Personally I like this move if only to stop recent history of the lousy choices the President has made during recess. Bolton comes to mind.
    Harriet Meiers(sp)

  10. #10
    Ohh Hell yeah.. Sava700's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Somewhere
    Posts
    24,052
    hell they may as well work and do something if we are paying them..rather than going home all week and stuffing their faces with turkey.

  11. #11
    ♫♪ ♫♪ ♫♪ ♫♪ downhill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    My Own Private Idaho
    Posts
    34,796
    Quote Originally Posted by Sava700 View Post
    hell they may as well work and do something if we are paying them..rather than going home all week and stuffing their faces with turkey.


    pssssssssst....Sava, come closer..........they don't get paid by the hour..and......they're non union

  12. #12
    Certified SG Addict
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    29,514
    I'd pay you, Roody, if you'd include a link when you post a large quote.

  13. #13
    Moderator Roody's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Central Florida
    Posts
    30,761
    Quote Originally Posted by Burke View Post
    I'd pay you, Roody, if you'd include a link when you post a large quote.
    Link above edited. Now how much do I get?

  14. #14
    R.I.P. MissTynker2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,930
    Quote Originally Posted by Burke View Post
    I'd pay you, Roody, if you'd include a link when you post a large quote.
    Some of us stuck with 56K, and no other choice, actually prefer and appreciate the long read, rather than just a link. Still your choice of course, whether you decide to read it or not.
    Mystical Folding Minx

  15. #15
    Ohh Hell yeah.. Sava700's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Somewhere
    Posts
    24,052
    Quote Originally Posted by downhill View Post
    pssssssssst....Sava, come closer..........they don't get paid by the hour..and......they're non union
    yeah.... exactly like I said.. where did I say by the hour? or union?

  16. #16
    Certified SG Addict
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    29,514
    Quote Originally Posted by MissTynker2 View Post
    Some of us stuck with 56K, and no other choice, actually prefer and appreciate the long read, rather than just a link. Still your choice of course, whether you decide to read it or not.
    It's not about making it link-only. I'd like to have a point of reference for bookmarking purposes.

  17. #17
    ♫♪ ♫♪ ♫♪ ♫♪ downhill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    My Own Private Idaho
    Posts
    34,796
    Quote Originally Posted by Sava700 View Post
    yeah.... exactly like I said.. where did I say by the hour? or union?
    I wouldn't expect our congressmen to work over a holiday. I do know that lots of people do. Most of them also stuff their faces. I know for a fact that indeed, I'll be doing that and hey...I'm union.

  18. #18
    R.I.P. MissTynker2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,930
    Quote Originally Posted by Burke View Post
    It's not about making it link-only. I'd like to have a point of reference for bookmarking purposes.

    Ahhh...I misunderstood the reasoning then. My apologies
    Mystical Folding Minx

  19. #19
    ♫♪ ♫♪ ♫♪ ♫♪ downhill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    My Own Private Idaho
    Posts
    34,796
    Since we're on the subject about appointments.....and straight from the "We Love Our Vets Better Than You Do, Dept....

    Bush's nominee to head the Department of Veterans Affairs is the second to come from a private company that rakes in millions from VA contracts.

    Since this is a site pass, I'll post some of it but really, it's a pretty good read and worth the small wait for the pass.

    Nov. 20, 2007 | WASHINGTON -- President Bush late last month nominated retired Lt. Gen. James Peake to be the next secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs. It is not an inconsequential wartime post: The department is the second-largest government agency after the Defense Department. And the VA faces the awesome responsibility of caring for several generations of veterans, including the crush of American service members back from Iraq and Afghanistan.

    On paper, Peake seems qualified. Wounded twice in Vietnam, he retired in 2004 from his post as Army surgeon general, the Army's top medical officer, with 40 years of experience in the field of military medicine.

    But Bush plucked Peake directly from a private company that has raked in hundreds of millions of dollars from contracts with the VA -- and Peake himself helped develop proposals for the company to contract with the VA. That has raised questions about conflict of interest, potentially pitting veterans' care against corporate profits. Moreover, if he is confirmed, Peake will be the second head of the VA under the Bush administration to come from that same private contractor, QTC Management Inc.

    Observers say QTC Management has performed high-quality work, and its former president, who also headed the VA under Bush, withstood past scrutiny by congressional investigators. But ever since Dick Cheney left Halliburton to become vice president, Bush administration critics have sounded the alarm about war profiteering seeping into the heart of the U.S. government. The changing leadership at the VA represents a little-known turn of the revolving door between contractors and the Bush administration. Veterans' advocates also worry that Peake's nomination suggests the White House may be interested in privatizing veterans' healthcare to an unhealthy degree.

    The Veterans Affairs Department runs more than a thousand hospitals and outpatient clinics to care for veterans, including the influx of hundreds of thousands of veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and are now out of the military and want to see a VA doctor.

    Those veterans also seek disability checks as remuneration for their service-related ills. Every year the VA hands out over $40 billion in checks to veterans as compensation for everything from missing limbs to post-traumatic stress disorder.

    When a veteran first applies for that compensation, a doctor conducts a physical to help determine how much money he or she deserves. Historically, VA doctors do most of those examinations. But increasingly they are being performed by QTC Management, the for-profit contractor that employed Peake as its chief operating officer from 2006 until now.

    The company has a virtual lock on the expanding business of performing the physicals on veterans, which help determine how much they should get in disability checks from the VA. The company first started conducting the examinations in the late 1990s, part of a smaller effort to help the department alleviate a backlog of veterans awaiting benefits. This year the VA will farm out 100,000 to 150,000 of these examinations to QTC Management, according to the company's chairman. A 2005 report from the VA's inspector general says the company charges around $590 for each exam, making the contracts worth at least $88 million this year alone.



    Lots more and worth the read.

Similar Threads

  1. Bush a Hypocrite like ususal....
    By Blisster in forum General Discussion Board
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 03-01-07, 06:30 AM
  2. Bush: U.S. won't stop spying on Americans
    By Brent in forum General Discussion Board
    Replies: 27
    Last Post: 12-18-05, 02:40 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •