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 WelchBuyer beware: Not all 'milk' is created equal A guide to the committees: House Got soy milk? Don't let Congress, dairy industry bogart 'milk' label 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 BraleyTrump: Ernst wanted 'more seasoning' before entertaining VP offer Criminal sentencing bill tests McConnell-Grassley relationship Trump's VP list shrinks 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 GutierrezThis week: Trump makes first address to Congress Dems: White House canceled ICE immigration meeting ICE head cancels meeting with Hispanic Dems MORE (D-Ill.), Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.), Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.), Earl BlumenauerEarl BlumenauerKentucky Dem lawmaker questions Trump's mental health A guide to the committees: House Democrats raise questions about Trump’s mental health 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 YarmuthKentucky Dem lawmaker questions Trump's mental health A guide to the committees: House House Dems press Trump for details on ObamaCare order MORE (D-Ky.) and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.).