H.Res. 509, Disapproving of Recess Appointments

On January 4th, President Obama appointed Richard Cordray as the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and named three members to the National Labor Relations Board as recess appointments, when in fact, Congress was not in recess.

In explaining these actions, the White House is asserting that the Executive Branch can determine when the Legislative Branch is or is not in session. This is a gross extension of executive authority. One that I believes side-steps the constitution and totally ignores the Senate's Advice and Consent role.

In response, I introduced H.Res. 509, disapproving of President Obama’s so-called recess appointments.

Article 1, Section 5 of the U.S. Constitution clearly states that,

"Neither House, during the Session of Congress, shall, without the Consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days"

In 1993, the Department of Justice provided further guidance related to this clause stating that,

“If the recess here at issue were of three days or less, a closer question would be presented. The Constitution restricts the Senate's ability to adjourn its session for more than three days without obtaining the consent of the House of Representatives. ... It might be argued that this means that the Framers did not consider one, two and three day recesses to be constitutionally significant."

To learn more, please take a look at thefollowing documents. If you have additional questions, please contact Jonathan McNabb of my staff at or at 202-225-4233.

Legislative Text

Dear Colleague

Press Release

The Wall Street Journal: Contempt for Congress

The Weekly Standard: An Unconstitutional Appointment to an Unconstitutional Office

In the News:

National Journal: House GOP Criticizes Recess Appointments in Nonbinding Resolution

“It’s astounding to me that the president is claiming these are recess appointments and within his authority, when Congress was not in fact in recess.”

Roll Call: House Republicans File Resolution Criticizing Recess Picks

"No matter how you look at this, it doesn’t pass the smell test. I hope the House considers my resolution as soon as we return to Washington so we can send a message to President Obama.”


Rep. Sandy Adams (FL), Rep. Robert Aderholt (AL), Rep. Todd Akin (MO), Rep. Mark Amodei (NV), Rep. Steve Austria (OH), Rep. Lou Barletta (PA), Rep. Rick Berg (ND), Rep. Gus Bilirakis (FL), Rep. Marsha Blackburn (TN), Rep. Joe Bonner (AL), Rep. Charles Boustany (LA), Rep. Kevin Brady (TX), Rep. Mo Brooks (AL), Rep. Paul Broun (GA), Rep. Larry Bucshon (IN), Rep. Michael Burgess (TX), Rep. Dan Burton (IN), Rep. Ken Calvert (CA), Francisco "Quico" Canseco (TX-23), Rep. John Carter (TX), Rep. Steve Chabot (OH), Rep. Mike Coffman (CO), Rep. Mike Conaway (TX), Rep. Chip Cravaack (MN), Rep. Rick Crawford (AR), Rep. Scott DesJarlais (TN), Rep. Jimmy Duncan (TN), Rep. Renee Ellmers (NC), Rep. Black Farenthold (TX), Rep. Stephen Fincher (TN), Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (PA), Rep. Jeff Flake (AZ), Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (TN), Rep. Randy Forbes (VA), Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (NE), Rep. Trent Franks (AZ), Rep. Cory Gardner (CO), Rep. Scott Garrett (NJ), Rep. Jimmy Gerlach (PA), Rep. Bob Gibbs (OH), Rep. Phil Gingrey (GA), Rep. Louie Gohmert (TX), Rep. Bob Goodlatte (VA), Rep. Paul Gosar (AZ), Rep. Trey Gowdy (SC), Rep. Tim Griffin (AR), Rep. Morgan Griffith (VA), Rep. Frank Guinta (NH), Rep. Brett Guthrie (KY), Rep. Ralph Hall (TX), Rep. Gregg Harper (MS), Rep. Andy Harris (MD), Rep. Wally Herger (CA) Rep. Tim Huelskamp (KS), Rep. Bill Huizenga (MI), Rep. Randy Hultgren (IL), Rep. Robert Hurt (VA), Rep. Lynn Jenkins (KS), Rep. Bill Johnson (OH), Rep. Sam Johnson (TX), Rep. Walter Jones (NC), Rep. Steve King (IA), Rep. Jack Kingston (GA), Rep. Adam Kinzinger (IL), Rep. Raul Labrador (ID), Rep. Doug Lamborn (CO), Rep. Leonard Lance (NJ), Rep. Jeff Landry (LA), Rep. Tom Latham (IA), Rep. Robert Latta (OH), Rep. Cynthia Lummis (WY), Rep. Connie Mack (FL), Rep. Donald Manzullo (IL), Rep. Kenny Marchant (TX), Rep. Tom Marino (PA), Rep. Michael McCaul (TX), Rep. Tom McClintock (CA), Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (MI), Rep. Patrick McHenry (NC), Rep. Cancdice Miller (MI), Rep. Jeff Miller (FL), Rep. Mick Mulvaney (SC), Rep. Tim Murphy (PA), Rep. Sue Myrick (NC), Rep. Rich Nugent (FL), Rep. Alan Nunnelee (MS), Rep. Pete Olson (TX), Rep. Steven Palazzo (MS), Rep. Ron Paul (TX), Rep. Steven Pearce (NM), Rep. Joe Pitts (PA), Rep. Ted Poe (TX), Rep. Mike Pompeo (KS), Rep. Tom Price (GA), Ben Quayle (AZ-3), Rep. Reid Ribble (WI), Rep. Martha Roby (AL), Rep. Tom Roonery (FL), Rep. Dennis Ross (FL), Rep. Paul Ryan (WI), Steve Scalise (LA-1), Rep. Jean Schmidt (OH), Rep. Tim Scott (SC), Rep. James Sensenbrenner (WI), Rep. Pete Sessions (TX), Rep. Aaron Shock (IL), Rep. Mike Simpson (ID), Rep. Steve Southerland (FL), Rep. Cliff Stearns (FL), Rep. Steve Stivers (OH), Rep. Marlin Stutzman (IN), Rep. Pat Tiberi (OH), Rep. Scott Tipton (CO), Rep. Joe Walsh (IL), Rep. Allen West (FL), Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (GA), Rep. Ed Whitfield (KY), Rep. Joe Wilson (SC), Rep. Robert Wittman (VA), Rep. Frank Wolf (VA), Rep. Steve Womack (AR), Rep. Rob Woodall (GA), Rep. C. W. Bill Young (FL)