A bloc of conservative Republicans will be presiding over “pro forma” House sessions in order to prevent President Obama from making any recess appointments while both chambers are out this month.
Members of the Republican Study Committee, a group that comprises three-quarters of the House Republican conference, have arranged for the House to hold the pro-forma sessions – brief meetings that usually last several minutes and during which no legislative business is conducted -- every several days until both chambers return in early September.
The move means that both the House and the Senate – which needs the consent of the House in order to recess – will technically be in session throughout August, ensuring that Obama cannot make any federal appointments without the consent of Congress.
“Throughout the August recess, my colleagues and I will preside over pro forma sessions in the House – preventing congressional recess and presidential recess appointments,” said Rep. Jeff Landry (R-La.), a freshman who has led the move by House conservatives. “We have taken up the call of the American people who want an open, accountable government. And we are ready and willing to take these extraordinary measures in order to return transparency to Washington and sanity to political appointees.”
The Senate is expected to hold pro forma sessions every Friday and Tuesday until it resumes regular sessions on Sept. 6.
According to a statement released by the RSC, the House will hold its pro forma sessions on Tuesdays and Fridays as well, with the following members presiding throughout August and early September:
Tues., Aug. 9: Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.)
Fri., Aug. 12: Rep. Jeff Landry (R-S.C.)
Tues., Aug. 16: RSC Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio)
Fri., Aug. 19: Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.)
Tues., Aug. 23: Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.)
Fri., Aug. 26: Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.)
Tues., Aug. 30: Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio)
Fri., Sep. 2: Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.)
Tues., Sep. 6: Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.)
With the exception of Jordan, all of the members presiding over the pro forma sessions are freshmen.
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