Senate Dems warn they will block recess appointments

Senate Dems warn they will block recess appointments
© Greg Nash

Senate Democrats are warning they will block President Trump from trying to bypass the confirmation process by firing Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsOne quick asylum fix: How Garland can help domestic violence survivors Biden fills immigration court with Trump hires Trump admin got phone records of WaPo reporters covering Russia probe: report MORE and appointing a successor during the August recess.

"Let me state for the record now, before this scheme gains wings, Democrats will never go along with the recess appointment if that situation arises," Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerHouse conservatives take aim at Schumer-led bipartisan China bill There will be no new immigration law under Biden, unless he changes course This week: Congressional leaders to meet with Biden amid GOP reckoning MORE (D-N.Y.) said Tuesday, amid speculation about Sessions’s future in the administration. 

He added that Democrats "have some tools in our toolbox" to block Trump from a recess appointment, which would allow the president to bypass what would likely be a contentious confirmation fight. 


"We're ready to use every single one of them, any time, day or night. It's so vital to the future of the republic," Schumer said. 

Democrats could prevent the Senate from adjourning in mid-August, which could force Republicans to set up "pro-forma" sessions that would effectively block Trump from being able to name a successor without Senate confirmation. 

A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellManchin, Biden huddle amid talk of breaking up T package Romney: Removing Cheney from House leadership will cost GOP election votes The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden reverses Trump limits on transgender protections MORE (R-Ky.) said he didn't have any announcements on pro-forma sessions, which usually last only a few minutes, but noted that "if the Senate doesn’t adjourn, typically pro forma sessions happen every three days." 

The Senate held pro forma sessions over the weeklong July Fourth recess. 

Schumer said Tuesday that Trump is trying to "bully" Sessions out of office. 

"I cannot imagine my friends on the Republican side, and particularly in the Republican leadership ... would be complicit in creating a constitutional crisis," Schumer said. 

Schumer's warning comes as Trump appears increasingly frustrated with Sessions for his decision to recuse himself from the Justice Department's investigation into Russia's election meddling and potential contacts between the Trump campaign and Moscow. 

Trump tweeted on Tuesday morning that Sessions, who as a senator from Alabama was one of Trump's earliest allies in the 2016 campaign, “has taken a VERY weak position” on former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonAmerica departs Afghanistan as China arrives Young, diverse voters fueled Biden victory over Trump McConnell: Taliban could take over Afghanistan by 'the end of the year' MORE’s past.

“Attorney General Jeff Sessions has taken a VERY weak position on Hillary Clinton crimes (where are E-mails & DNC server) & Intel leakers!” he tweeted.

Republicans have largely defended their former colleague, though Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanBiden's relationship with top House Republican is frosty The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Emergent BioSolutions - Facebook upholds Trump ban; GOP leaders back Stefanik to replace Cheney Budowsky: Liz Cheney vs. conservatives in name only MORE (R-Wis.) told reporters on Tuesday that "it’s up to the president to decide what his personnel decisions is and any possible fallout that comes with that."