Friday, January 6, 2012

You Can Win a CotD!

Bringing back a fun opportunity from last summer: yes, you can join Paul Krugman, Ezra Klein, Ross Douthat, Brad DeLong, and other luminaries as a winner of a coveted Plain Blog "Catch of the Day." I'll award one (probably Monday), with any luck shared, to all those who can come up with instances of Republicans who have referred to the current Congressional situation as a "recess." No Scott Brown, please: he's supporting the recess appointments. But everyone else is fair game. Be sure to include a solid citation, and leave it in comments here or email it to me. Of course, the best ones are those who have been loudest in denouncing the recess appointments. Go for it!


  1. How about the House calendar?

    Days in session are marked in red, and on Wednesday, the day of the appointment, there is no red to indicate that the House was in session. Congress views itself as being in recess.

  2. In case you were curious, the same is true of the Senate calendar.

  3. I posted this one in the other thread, but I ought to post it here too. Sen. Olympia Snowe's Senate website, Dec. 20, 2011

    "I frankly believe that Congress should forfeit its recess while uncertainty persists about extending unemployment benefits and the payroll tax cut," continued Senator Snowe, who is Ranking Member of Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

  4. Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins, Dec. 20: "I hope the Senate will forgo their Holiday recess for a few more days and come back to Washington and work with us to extend this tax cut for the hardworking American people."

  5. I would prefer that you award the Catch of the Day to instances of Democrat senators who used pro forma sessions to prevent Republican Presidents making recess appointments, but now support Obama's action. Like, say, Harry Reid!

  6. Reps. Earl Blumenauer and Janice Hahn, Dec. 8:

    "We write to ask the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet to hold a hearing on our bill, H.R. 3344, the 'Give Fans a Chance Act of 2011' when Congress returns from the holiday recess."

  7. Anonymous@12:05pm, it is worth noting that the situations are not perfectly symmetrical; Reid, as the Senate Majority Leader, kept the Senate out of recess, in order to preserve the Senate's Constitutional power of advice and consent. Currently, the Speaker of the House is claiming that he is preventing the Senate from recessing using his Article I, Section 5 power to prohibit the Senate from adjourning for more than three days. Reid claims that the Senate is currently in recess despite being forced to hold pro-forma sessions. Before, he claimed it wasn't in recess. This claim by the leader of the Senate matters quite a lot, in the absence of any Constitutional definition of a recess.

    It's also relevant that the House has no enumerated powers over Presidential appointments, which casts Speaker Boehner's power play in an entirely different light than either Majority Leader Reid's or President Obama's.


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