President Trump will not be allowed to slip in a replacement for Attorney General Jeff Sessions while the Senate is out on recess next month.
Republican senators reportedly already made a “collective decision” in January that prohibits President Trump from making any appointments to his administration while the Senate is on recess.
To do this, the Senate will never officially be “in recess,” as GOP senators will hold “pro-forma” sessions every few days during times when a recess is scheduled. This prevents the president from pushing an appointment through that would otherwise require confirmation by the Senate.
The Washington Examiner explained that during a pro-forma session, one senator will quickly gavel the chamber in and out of session. The process requires someone to forgo their vacation during the recess period and stay in Washington, but the senators have already worked up a schedule for the entire year, where junior senators agreed to take turns performing the duty.
“Recess appointments have never been an option for Trump,” one Republican senator reportedly told The Washington Examiner, adding, “Junior senators long ago picked two dates when they’re on the hook to be in D.C. to gavel in and out.”
The Examiner said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell did the same thing as minority leader during the Obama administration. GOP senators previously took a recess appointment dispute with then-President Obama all the way to the Supreme Court and won.
Republicans are adamant on the issue, but even if they changed their minds, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer confirmed he would continue the pro-forma sessions.
It is the one policy on which Republican and Democrat leaders all presently agree. There will be no recess appointments by President Trump while lawmakers are out of town.
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