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Public Statements

Rep. Jeff Duncan Condemns Obama's Unconstitutional Power Grab

Press Release

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Date:
Location: Laurens, SC

South Carolina Congressman Jeff Duncan condemned President Obama's decision to bypass Congress and unilaterally name Richard Cordray to head the extremely controversial Consumer Financial Protection Bureau through an unprecedented recess appointment.

The Constitution states that the United States Senate must approve the President's nominees for most judgeships, cabinet secretaries, federal agencies, boards, and several other positions.

Article II, Section II of the United States Constitution gives the President the authority to temporarily bypass the confirmation process through a "recess appointment," but only when the Senate is out of session. Recess appointments were intended to be a tool for keeping the government operating smoothly after our country was founded and Congress would regularly adjourn for months at a time.

To prevent President Obama from abusing recess appointments for political convenience, many House Republicans have traveled to Washington to intentionally force the United States Senate to stay in session. President Obama's decision to appoint Cordray to this controversial post outside of an actual recess and without Senate approval will be highly criticized and likely challenged in court.

"President Obama is thumbing his nose at the American people and the Constitution of the United States," said Duncan. "I've never seen a President so blatantly disregard the law. With this appointment, President Obama is claiming he has the power to ignore one of the most critical checks that our Founding Fathers placed on the President.

"The President's last recess appointment was Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board. That recess appointment helped the NLRB sue Boeing for creating thousands of jobs in South Carolina. If President Obama had the authority that he claims he has, there's nothing to stop him from ignoring Congress and appointing another Craig Becker, or even a Justice to the United States Supreme Court" said Duncan.

"Not since FDR failed in his attempt to "pack' the Supreme Court has a President launched such an open assault on the Constitution, and taken such a dangerous step towards eliminating our system of checks and balances."


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