Thursday, May 10, 2007

shades of delay

A brief reminder of what the Congress was like just one short year ago. You may remember that, in the beginning of 2006, the president made a bunch of recess appointments. These were the nominees of his that were so unqualified and so obviously the product of corruption and patronage that even Senate led by his own party couldn't confirm them. According to congressional rules, recess appointments made between Senate sessions only last for the duration of the following term, but appointments made during a session last for its duration plus the next one. So check this out:
The Senate calendar on the Democratic site shows no meeting until Congress opened on January 18, 2006, which would lead one to assume that date marked the opening of the second year of the 109th Congress. But the Library of Congress indicates a session was held on January 3, 2006, thus officially opening the 109th. And lo and behold, the Daily Digest reports a 41-second pro forma Senate session, from 12:00:04 PM to 12:00:45 P.M., on that date. The Senate convened, immediately adjourned and thus began a "recess in the middle of the session," not meeting again until January 18, 2006.

The day following the less-than-a-minute convening, of course, Bush made his recess appointments—now officially during a session of Congress—which allowed his eminently rejectable appointees to complete the "balance of the session in progress plus the full length of the session that follows." Meaning we’re stuck with this gang of uncomfirmable, incompetent, unqualified losers for an extra year.

This is how things were done in Washington when the Republicans were in charge.

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