There’ll be no plum recess appointments for Bush cronies this holiday season, thanks to Harry Reid who’s taking the role of Scrooge to block Bush from serving up recess appointments over the holidays. This could really put a damper on Bush’s holiday giving. Instead of goodies in the cronies’ stockings they’ll be getting “lumps of coal,” and the ghosts of Christmas pasts may not be able to intercede:
Word is Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), in order to prevent President Bush from handing out those goodies, is now thinking about keeping the Senate in session during the Christmas-New Year’s break, which starts at the end of next week and continues until the Senate returns in mid- to late January.
The unusual maneuver, which Reid first used during the recent Thanksgiving vacation, would block Bush from using his constitutional power — derived from the days when the Senate could be out of session for months — to fill vacancies. Such appointments made now would be valid through the end of Bush’s presidency.
As a practical matter, if Reid decides to keep the Senate in session, such folks as Sen. Jim Webb(D-Va.), who came in from across the river to wield the gavel during the Thanksgiving break, would once again briefly open and close the Senate twice a week, in what are called pro forma sessions.
Senate Democrats have been particularly upset over several of Bush’s recess appointees, including Charles Pickering to an appeals court seat and, more recently, Republican donor and Swift Boat ad-campaign contributor Sam Fox as ambassador to Belgium.
Look for Bush, in the guise of the Turkey in Chief, to cry foul, (as he did after the Thanksgiving break) when Congress officially returns from the holiday break.