Republicans say legal doubts over consumer watchdog

Wed Jan 4, 2012 11:39am EST

(Reuters) - Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said on Wednesday that President Barack Obama's plan to use a recess appointment for the new consumer bureau puts the nominee in "uncertain legal territory."

Obama plans to sidestep Republican opposition to Richard Cordray by using a recess appointment on Wednesday, but McConnell said in a statement that the Senate is not in recess.

"This recess appointment represents a sharp departure from a long-standing precedent that has limited the President to recess appointments only when the Senate is in a recess of 10 days or longer. Breaking from this precedent lands this appointee in uncertain legal territory, threatens the confirmation process and fundamentally endangers the Congress's role in providing a check on the excesses of the executive branch," McConnell said.

House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner said in a separate statement: "I expect the courts will find the appointment to be illegitimate."

(Reporting By Karey Wutkowski and Richard Cowan)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see
Comments (4)
Eugene31 wrote:
Your headline should read: “Consumers have doubts about legality of Republicans” Is a Congress legal that allows judicial appointments to go unfilled for years for no reasons but pure power politics? The Cordray appointment is an excellent move by the President at this time. There is a reason that 9% of the American public approve of Congress. They refuse to do their job.

Jan 04, 2012 1:33pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Shouldn’t the president negotiate in good faith to get the appointments he wants? He is a bully and an ego-maniac. My way or the highway kind of guy. We can suffer his position until November. Then everyone he has selected can go back home.

Jan 04, 2012 6:14pm EST  --  Report as abuse
AlkalineState wrote:
Republicans warn: “Just because we in government have handed the banks 2 trillion dollars in bailouts over the past 6 years… does not mean we have the legal authority to audit them. Maybe the banks don’t WANT to be audited.”

Good luck with that sophisticated argument.

Jan 04, 2012 7:09pm EST  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.