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Trump Threatens to Invoke a Power Never Before Invoked

President wants to adjourn Congress in order to push through nominees
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 16, 2020 12:17 AM CDT
Updated Apr 16, 2020 6:31 AM CDT

(Newser) – President Trump on Wednesday threatened to use a constitutional clause that's never been invoked before in order to forcibly adjourn Congress so he can push through nominees who would otherwise need to be confirmed by the Senate. He says there are 129 nominees for various federal agencies awaiting confirmation, and since senators are away from Washington until May 4 amid the coronavirus pandemic, he needs to do something. "As the entire US government works to combat the global pandemic, it is absolutely essential that key positions at relevant federal agencies are fully staffed," Trump said during Wednesday's daily coronavirus briefing. "We have many positions that are unstaffed because we can't get approval." More:

  • Recess appointments: As the AP, CNN, and NBC explain, the president has the power to make "recess appointments" to fill certain positions without Senate confirmation while Congress is in recess—but Congress has in recent years refused to fully adjourn in order to prevent Trump and, before him, President Obama, from making such appointments.

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