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Letter: Can't have it both ways

This is in response to Barbara Edwards' letter on Jan. 24. By making four appointments, Obama did get two bureaus working. The question is, was this action legal? When these appointments were made the Democratic-controlled Senate was in pro forma session, not in recess.

The vote to confirm Richard Cordray on Dec. 12 did not receive the 60 votes needed for cloture. The bill that established the Consumer Financial Protection Board clearly specifies the director (Cordray), must, I repeat, must be confirmed by the Senate. He is not.

In addition to this fact, Cordray, along with the three National Labor Relations Board members, cannot be recess appointments since the Senate was not in recess. It was in pro forma session

In 2007 and again in 2008, senators from both parties agreed it takes a minimum of three days before a recess appointment can be made by the president. The payroll tax cut extension was passed during pro forma session, same as these four appointments. Either the payroll tax cut extension bill is illegal or these appointments are. Which action is legal, the Senate's vote or the president's end run around Congress? It's one or the other. You can't have it both ways.

Barb Norine