President Donald Trump has threatened to adjourn Congress by invoking his constitutional authority to adjourn both chambers of Congress in order to confirm nominations to his administration.
“The Senate should either fulfill its duty and vote on my nominees or it should formally adjourn so that I can make recess appointments, if the House will not agree to that adjournment I will exercise my constitutional authority to adjourn both chambers.”
According to Article II, Section 3, a president may, “on extraordinary occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in case of disagreement between them, with respect to the time of adjournment, he may adjourn them to such time as he shall think proper.”
The Republican-controlled Senate and the Democratic-controlled House would have to disagree on when to adjourn in order for Trump to intervene.
The Senate, which is not due back in Washington until May 4, has been holding pro forma sessions, in which the upper chamber convenes briefly.
“The current practice of leaving town while conducting phony pro-forma sessions is a dereliction of duty that the American people cannot afford during this crisis,” he continued. “It’s a scam and everybody knows it, and it’s been that way for a long time.”
If the Senate is in recess, the president could then appoint some officials who would otherwise require Senate confirmation, which is why the upper chamber holds “pro forma” sessions in order to block the president from making recess appointments.
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