Defying Congress, President Obama used his recess appointment powers Wednesday to name a head for the controversial Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in a move Republican lawmakers said amounted to an unconstitutional power grab.
The president acted just a day after the Senateheld a session — a move that breaks with at least three different precedents which have held that theSenate must be in recess for at least three days before a president can act. Mr. Obama himself was part of two of those precedents, both during his own time in the Senate and again in 2010 when one of his administration’s top lawyers made the three-day argument to the Supreme Court.
The appointment in question is former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray, whom Mr. Obama tapped to head the CFPB. The board was set up under the new Wall Street regulation bill Democrats powered through in 2010, just before losing their majority in the House.