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Reid to Bush: No recess, no recess appointments

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Election 2008
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Posted November 19, 2007 4:14 PM
The Swamp

By Matthew Hay Brown

His colleagues may all have left Washington for the Thanksgiving break, but Sen. Jim Webb will be back on the Senate floor Tuesday morning.

The junior senator from nearby Virginia has been tapped by Majority Leader Harry Reid to open the upper chamber for a pro forma session, a tactic to keep the Senate from going into recess – and to keep President Bush from making recess appointments.

The Constitution gives the president authority to fill federal vacancies when the Senate is in recess – it’s how Theodore Roosevelt put Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. on the Supreme Court. More recently, the recess appointment has been used by presidents of both parties to bypass the confirmation process for controversial nominees.

Bush has used the authority to sidestep Senate filibusters against Charles Pickering and William Pryor, whom he appointed to U.S. courts of appeals, and John Bolton, who became U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

Julie L. Myers, the assistant secretary of homeland security now under fire for giving a “best original costume” prize to an employee dressed as a dark-skinned, dreadlocked prisoner at a Halloween party last month, was another recess appointment.

Democrats remain particularly frosted by the installation this year of Sam Fox, the St. Louis businessman who helped to finance Swift Boat Veterans for Truth during the 2004 election, as ambassador to Belgium

Bush, meanwhile, is frustrated at what he says is the slow pace of the confirmation process under the Democratic majority. Bush is awaiting action on some 190 nominees, including 23 judges, secretaries of agriculture and veterans affairs, three members of the Federal Reserve, two members of the Council of Economic Advisers and the surgeon general.

Democrats say they confirmed Attorney General Michael Mukasey, and now would like to see Bush nominate their candidates to Democratic openings on the Federal Communications Commission and other panels.

“I am committed to making that progress if the President will meet me half way,” Reid said. “But that progress can’t be made if the President seeks controversial recess appointments and fails to make Democratic appointments to important commissions.”

By law, the Senate can remain open by meeting in pro forma session once every three days. With rumors circulating that Bush planned to appoint controversial surgeon general nominee James W. Holsinger Jr. over the break, Reid scheduled a series of sessions.

Accordingly, Webb is set to enter the chamber at 9 a.m. Tuesday, listen to the clerk announce the session, and gavel it open and closed – a process that is expected to take “no more than 30 seconds, max,” according to Reid spokesman Jim Manley.

Additional sessions are scheduled for Friday (Sen. Byron L. Dorgan of North Dakota), Nov. 27 (Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island) and Nov. 29 (Dorgan again).

White House spokeswoman Emily Lawrimore suggests the Democrats put the sessions to use.
“If they are going to come in, we would encourage them to make the most of this time and to schedule hearings and votes on the pending nominations,” she said.

The full Senate is scheduled to return on Dec. 3.

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“If they are going to come in, we would encourage them to make the most of this time and to schedule hearings and votes on the pending nominations,” she said.

I hope they take her up on this idea! Put these idiots under scrutiny. Then vote them down!


Senator Reid,
No recess, no recess appointments.
Accordingly, Webb is set to enter the chamber at 9 a.m. Tuesday, listen to the clerk announce the session, and gavel it open and closed – a process that is expected to take “no more than 30 seconds, max,” according to Reid spokesman Jim Manley.

SPENDING TAXPAYER MONEY FOR NOTHING. MR REID, YOU SHOULD EITHER WORK OR BE REMOVED FROM OFFICE.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING???????


Democrats remain particularly frosted by the installation this year of Sam Fox, the St. Louis businessman who helped to finance Swift Boat Veterans for Truth during the 2004 election, as ambassador to Belgium


Yep, that's the government that King Georgie and his Republic Party minions have given us.
A government of Republican cronyism and war profiteering.

Halliburton - http://s97.photobucket.com/albums/l201/RRR_018/?action=view¤t=halliburton_profits.jpg

Blackwater - http://s169.photobucket.com/albums/u206/kdog1749/?action=view¤t=Blackwater--reduced.gif


keith;
Senator Reid is working.
What works for some, doesn't work for all. You're just bitter because George W. is being stopped from bypassing the system of checks and balances.
Could it be that the American people have had enough of one man rule and that's why we no longer have a Republican majority in the Senate?
Thanks to Senator Reid, we will have hearings and votes on pending nominations, as it should be, as it is meant to be.
Let's hope we get good people for the jobs.
I suppose Bush would like the same kind of judges they have in Pakistan.


Harry Reid is to taxpayer's money what Colonel Sanders was to chickens.


Finally, a little bit of fight from the Democratic leadership. It's a welcome change from their usual tactic of making a few strongly worded statements and then giving the worst president ever whatever he wants.


San Miguel,

Could it be that you don't read very much? That might explain why you are ignorant of President Clinton making 139 recess appointments (it's called the Constitution!) during his time in office.
As far as I can research, this is the only Senator to actively block recess appointments using proforma in US history. So Harry Reid is not doing things as they should be.

Learn more and think more, San Miguel. Unless being a parrot is your preference.


I LOVE THIS IDEA. I'm going to send him some crossword puzzles and cookies.


This in a good thing. The senate is being attended to more closely--no surprises. The taxpayers will spend no more money for these men to open and close the senate every three days. Correct this if I'm wrong--the senators are on salary--no overtime pay--and giving up time with family.


Oh Weinerbrain, your ilk has filthy words posted here all the time. Practically every day I notice that kind of nonsense from your ilk that gets by the Swamp censors.

Having said that, the posts should be kept clean and Keith was wrong to use the word that rhymes with pit.


Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha !!!1 HA HA HA HA HA HAAAAAAAA!!!!!!

You cons are out of your minds. A unnecessary trillion dollar war, and you carp about this.


Jim Webb is a partisan Democrat in the mold of Benedict Arnold. He quit the party because his son went to Iraq. Real bravery here.
He treated the President like a dog because he has poor manners and his son is such a sweetie and W is out to get him.
The fact is he sold out Ronald Reagan if he was alive would rsecind his appointment.
This guy is a cry baby and I hope the RNC will find a suitable replacement for this loon.
I'm sick of Webb and I will work to defeat him. Jerry White, Springfield, IL P.S Webb get off your high horse swcithin parties doesn't make you special. Get over it.You have to get re-elected Good Luck Charlie.


John D,
What are you raving about?
You are not making sense, again.


keith?? What are you saying about Reid and wasting money? The full House and Senate get paid for the holiday break so where is 'waste' beyond the usual blatherings of Congress?


Harry Reid is to taxpayer's money what Colonel Sanders was to chickens.

Posted by: Bruce | November 19, 2007 4:56 PM

Umm, he sells a lot of them? Weak post, even by your standards, Mr. Reactionary.


Having said that, the posts should be kept clean and Keith was wrong to use the word that rhymes with pit.

Posted by: John D | November 19, 2007 8:25 PM

Are you just angry because you can't get the queen B title printed in its' entirety?


We fear ilk.


Finally the Democrats are standing up to the little dictator.


Jerry:

Jim Webb is in Virginia.

You are in Springfield.

Therefore, how can you work to defeat him??

Oh, and his reelection is in 2012. And he quit the Republican Party BEFORE his son went to Iraq.


Finally. Harry Reid and the congress finally take a stand against this awful president. What took them so long? What were they afraid of? Harry Reid should take a stand from now on and constantly inform the American public of what he's doing, what it means to us, and why it needs to be done. When the Republican propaganda machine starts propagandizing, then Harry Reid and other senators inform the American public of the facts, educating them; so that they become well-informed, every step of the way, and less susceptible to the propaganda.


Former UK Chancellor Holsinger and $20 million of Church Money
by Rev. Andrew J. Weaver, Ph.D., and Lawrence H. McGaughey, Esq.

Dr. James Holsinger, former Chancellor at the UK medical School, is President Bush’s choice for Surgeon General. He has been a major player in a contentious and controversial seven year lawsuit involving his own church. Before Holsinger is confirmed by the Senate he needs to address serious ethical issues regarding his conduct in the law suit while employed by UK.
The litigation involved the sale in 1995 of a United Methodist Church (UMC) hospital in Lexington, Kentucky, and the disposition of the $20 million in proceeds. The hospital’s trustees refused to hand over the assets to the owner, the UMC in Kentucky. Instead, the self-appointed trustees, calling themselves the Good Samaritan Foundation (GSF) placed the funds under their sole control and withheld the money from the church for five years. The church was forced to engage in a long and costly lawsuit to find out where the money was and to regain its property. Holsinger became a GSF trustee in July 2000, joining in the lawsuit against his own church.
According to several individuals intimately acquainted with the litigation, Holsinger actually became the driving force in the prolongation of the lawsuit. Shortly after GSF lost in court for the second time in 2006, Holsinger stated that the GSF trustees, which he chaired, would persist in its legal battle. In a stunning denunciation of his own church, Holsinger publicly stated his personal belief that the UMC was "only interested in the Foundation's money, not its cause” [health care for the poor and disadvantaged]. It was only when Holsinger was named as Surgeon General that the litigation came to an abrupt halt. Within a matter of days after his May 24, 2007, nomination, Holsinger resigned from the GSF trustees and the lawsuit, indicating that to continue would be incompatible with an appointment as Surgeon General. Within a mere two weeks, the suit was finally settled -- after over seven years!
What might have motivated Holsinger to be a part of long, costly litigation against his own church? Following the money offers insight. From July 1997, through June 2006, the GSF and a corporate subsidiary dispersed $8,430,363 in grants -- of which $5,314,670 (63 percent) was given to University of Kentucky (UK) programs in medicine, nursing, dentistry, and public health. This included endowing two academic chairs valued at a million dollars each -- one in nursing and the other in public health. These endowed chairs and several million in other gifts were awarded while Holsinger was fundraising for these UK programs in his job as Chancellor of the Chandler Medical Center of UK from 1994 through 2003. The grants continued to flow after he left the position of Chancellor, while he continued as a GSF trustee until May 2007.
The GSF’s contributions to UK medical and its related schools have been so significant that the foundation is listed on the highest tier of honored benefactors to the university, along with major corporations such as Alcoa, DuPont, IBM, and the RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company.
What makes the GSF awards to UK more remarkable is that they were awarded in contradiction to the foundation’s own standards of grant-making. According to the grant policy guidelines of the GSF, “[m]ajor organizations” such as “[h]ospitals, [c]olleges and [u]niversities are not eligible as a general statement,” although exceptions could be made by the trustees. The exception in this case became the rule when it came to UK.
In addition, for more than a decade the return on the investments of the foundation was dismal. In May, 2005, GSF admitted in a letter to making poor return on the assets and to conflicts of interest by some of the trustees. Three GSF trustees had been involved in managing the assets of GSF while serving on the board. The church representatives told the GSF that it was “unconscionable” that after a decade the funds were not being professionally managed by experts who had no personal connection with the board.
The Surgeon General is our chief health educator, overseeing the work of the 6,000-member Public Health Service. It is a position that requires the highest ethical standards and personal conduct. Before Holsinger is confirmed, the Senate must ask serious questions about his ethics, especially regarding a costly lawsuit against his church and money funneled to UK.

Rev. Andrew J. Weaver, Ph.D., is a United Methodist minister and research psychologist who has written extensively on the role of clergy in preventive mental health care. He lives in New York City. He has co-authored 14 books including: Counseling Survivors of Traumatic Events (Abingdon, 2003), Reflections on Grief and the Spiritual Journey (Abingdon, 2005), Counseling Persons with Addictions and Compulsions (Pilgrim, 2007), and Connected Spirits: Friends and Spiritual Journeys (Pilgrim, 2007).

Lawrence H. McGaughey, Esq., is an attorney practicing law in New York City with specialties in real estate, trusts and estates, and not-for-profit organizations. He has represented many United Methodist churches and organizations and is the Chancellor of the New York Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. Any views stated in this article are personal and are not intended to represent the views of any client.


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