U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., today joined 37 of their Senate colleagues to announce their intention to file an amicus brief and join a court challenge to President Obama's recent unconstitutional "recess' appointments of individuals to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and National Labor Relations Board.
This is the second action that Isakson and Chambliss have taken in the past week to fight the controversial recess appointments, which came in January during a time when the Senate was not in recess but was actually in session. Yesterday, the senators sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., demanding that he clarify "serious inconsistencies" in his past statements about the use of recess appointments. In the letter, the senators noted that Reid employed the use of pro forma sessions to shorten recess periods to prevent President George W. Bush from making recess appointments beginning in November 2007, but now appears to have changed his position under President Obama.
"President Obama and his administration have, time and again, thwarted the will of the Senate with recess appointments of individuals that Senate has either already rejected outright or has never vetted," said Isakson. "His flagrant disregard not only of the role of the Senate, but also of the foundation upon which our country stands, must be stopped."
"I am very concerned that, in making these recess appointments, the president has chosen to ignore the Constitution and disregard longstanding rules and precedents," said Chambliss. "We cannot change rules every time we change presidents. I intend to work with my senate colleagues to reinstitute the checks and balances set forth in the Constitution, and to ensure that the American people's elected representatives are not circumvented by the president or the majority leader."
Sens. Isakson and Chambliss were joined in the announcement today by Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), John Boozman (R-Ark.) Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Dan Coats (R-Ind.), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), James Risch (R-Idaho), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), and David Vitter (R-La.)
Below is the text of the statement signed by 39 Republican Senators:
February 3, 2012
We the undersigned believe that President Obama's January 4, 2012 recess appointments of individuals to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and National Labor Relations Board were unprecedented and unconstitutional. We intend jointly to file an amicus brief challenging the constitutionality of President Obama's appointments to the National Labor Relations Board and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.