The Hill Has Recess, But It's No Fun

Seconds-long Senate sessions stave off controversial appointments
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 26, 2007 2:16 PM CST
Members of the Democratic leadership, from second from left, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., House Majority Whip James Clyburn of S.C. and House Majority...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Democrats in Congress are keeping a watchful eye on President Bush and preventing him from making any appointments during the monthlong holiday recess. The strategy requires the Senate to be in session every couple of days—even if only for a few seconds. On Friday, the Politico reports, the Senate opened at 9:30am and packed it in 26 seconds later.

Harry Reid has scheduled the brief sessions, which keep Congress from being in formal recess, through mid-January. The majority leader assigned freshman Jim Webb, who lives in Northern Virginia, the task of banging the gavel. Now Bush will have to send controversial appointments like that of Hans von Spakovsky to the Federal Election Commission to a vote.