Dems: President should recess-appoint FEC commissioners

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 Francis WelchTrump talks tough but little action seen on drug prices Frustrated with Trump, Dems introduce drug pricing bill Lawmakers try again on miners’ pension bill 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.

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“Doing so [appointing new commissioners] will breathe life into this important agency and send a clear signal to those seeking to exploit an uncertain campaign landscape that the cop is back on the beat and that federal election laws will be fully enforced,” Welch’s letter, signed by several Democrats, states.

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 Lowell BraleyOPINION | Tax reform, not Trump-McConnell feuds, will make 2018 a win for GOP Ten years later, House Dems reunite and look forward Trump: Ernst wanted 'more seasoning' before entertaining VP offer MORE (D-Iowa), Joe Courtney (D-Conn.), Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas), Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), Sam FarrSam FarrMedical marijuana supporters hopeful about government funding bill Marijuana advocates to give away free joints on Capitol Hill DEA decision against reclassifying marijuana ignores public opinion MORE (D-Calif.), Luis GutierrezLuis Vicente GutierrezWe are running out of time to protect Dreamers Gutiérrez makes moves toward presidential run: report Gutiérrez leaving Congress, rules out bid for mayor, governor MORE (D-Ill.), Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.), Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.), Earl BlumenauerEarl BlumenauerDemocrat: Pelosi ‘ceded the moral high ground’ on sexual harassment Clyburn on disparity in responses to sexual allegations: ‘Who elected them?’ Third House Dem calls for Conyers to resign 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 Allen YarmuthThe nearly 60 Dems who voted for impeachment House rejects Democrat's resolution to impeach Trump Dem plans to force House floor vote on impeaching Trump MORE (D-Ky.) and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.).