Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ), Chairman of the Congressional Constitution Caucus, issued the following statement today condemning the unconstitutional recess appointment by President Obama of Richard Cordray as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB):
"President Obama is abdicating his oath and duty to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States by making an unconstitutional recess appointment of Richard Cordray to head the newly created CFPB. If it weren't for his track record of trampling the Constitution to suit his political needs, I would say this announcement came as a surprise. Unfortunately, this is what we have come to expect from a president who brought Chicago-style politics to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
"Due to the unique characteristics of the CFPB, which would be funded through the Federal Reserve, insulated from congressional oversight, and negatively impact almost every facet of American business, Senate approval of the CFPB director is the last and only check Congress has over this unaccountable agency. This recess appointment is nothing more than an attempt to circumvent and undercut the advice and consent clause of the U.S. Constitution."
Article II, Section 2, Clause 3 of the United States Constitution states that "the President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next session." In 1792, Attorney General Edmund Randolph, responding to an inquiry from Thomas Jefferson, concluded that a newly created position for which no nomination had been made before the Senate recessed could not be filled by a recess appointment because it would violate the spirit of the Constitution.