By Rachel Leven - 03/28/12 04:42 PM EDT
More than 30 Democrats called on President Obama to recess-appoint five Federal Election Commission (FEC) commissioners during the Easter recess next week.
Chief deputy whip Peter WelchPeter WelchDem lawmakers: Clinton should have disclosed illness sooner Former Clinton adviser unsure of security protections on server Dems vow to keep heat on GOP over guns MORE (D-Vt.) asked the president to “use his constitutional authority” to replace the commissioners. These commissioners’ terms have expired and the commission's deadlock is holding back further clarifications on significant issues coming out of the Citizens United v. FEC Supreme Court ruling.
Watchdogs have also been calling for recess appointments to stunt the impact of the landmark Supreme Court ruling. The ruling allowed unlimited money into elections, as long as it’s not coordinated with or donated to specific candidates or parties.
Ten watchdogs, including Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) and Democracy 21, put together a petition on the matter in January. The petition, which received more than 25,000 signatures in February, still has not received a response from Obama.
The president has made one set of recess appointments this year — he appointed three individuals to the National Labor Relations Board, and Richard Cordray to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and others have already challenged the January act that put Obama at odds with Republicans.
The group of Democrats also sent a letter to the IRS to investigate 501(c)(4) groups affiliated with super-PACs. Watchdogs have called on the IRS to do the same; however, many of these letters and efforts have been rebutted by Republicans as partisan attacks.
Other members who signed these letters include Reps. Bruce BraleyBruce BraleyCriminal sentencing bill tests McConnell-Grassley relationship Trump's VP list shrinks Vernon wins Iowa House Dem primary MORE (D-Iowa), Joe Courtney (D-Conn.), Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas), Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), Sam FarrSam FarrDEA decision against reclassifying marijuana ignores public opinion 19 House Democrats' sites hacked at close of gun sit-in Dems push for allowing base closures MORE (D-Calif.), Luis GutierrezLuis GutierrezThe Hill's 12:30 Report Election watchdog scrutinizing Florida Dem Senate candidate Juan Williams: Dems should not take Latinos for granted MORE (D-Ill.), Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.), Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.), Earl BlumenauerEarl BlumenauerOvernight Finance: House GOP grills IRS chief on impeachment | Bipartisan anger over Iran payment | Fed holds rates steady but hints at coming hike Panel votes to extend nuclear power tax credit DEA decision against reclassifying marijuana ignores public opinion MORE (D-Ore.), Michael Capuano (D-Mass.), Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.), Donna Edwards (D-Md.), Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), Bob Filner (D-Calif.), George Miller (D-Calif.), Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.), Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.), Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.), Hank Johnson (D-Ga.), John Olver (D-Mass.), Jared Polis (D-Colo.), Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), John Sarbanes (D-Md.), Jan Shakowsky (D-Ill.), Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), John YarmuthJohn YarmuthDem lawmakers: Clinton should have disclosed illness sooner House Dems to GOP on gun reprimands: 'Bring it on' Overnight Regulation: Obama unveils new Arctic drilling rules | GOP pushes regulatory budget MORE (D-Ky.) and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.).