The Senate has unanimously decided to meet “pro-forma” over the remainder of the August recess, preventing President Donald Trump from making recess appointments.
This approach was also used by the Republican controlled Senate during the Barack Obama administration to prevent recess appointments, including a Supreme Court nomination for the seat vacated by the late Justice Antonin Scalia.
But now with a GOP Senate and a Republican president in the White House, the tactic seems out of place, including the procedure being put in place by a Republican lawmaker.
Senate blocks Trump from making recess appointments over break https://t.co/lZgEaxkMHu
— Rob Urban (@roburban) August 4, 2017
The action requires unanimous approval by the Senate and allows the Senate to be “in session” every three business days throughout the August recess, according to The Hill.
Lawmakers aren’t expected to actually be in session and conduct legislative business until after Labor Day.
But an aide for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) denied any ulterior motive, according to The Hill.
“So to meet our constitutional requirement of meeting every few days, we’re doing pro formas,” the aide said. “We didn’t do it to block Trump.”
Under Article One of the Constitution “neither House, during the session of Congress, shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days,” and the House is also currently holding pro-forma sessions, the Hill reported.