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Thursday, April 16, 2020

Trump threatens to adjourn both chambers of Congress

President Trump threatened on Wednesday to use his executive powers to force both chambers of Congress to be adjourned if the Senate failed to confirm his vacancies across the administration.

During a corona virus briefing in the rose garden, the president offered a lengthy shame against what he described as an obstacle to Congress, arguing that confirming his candidates in the face of the pandemic was more pressing than ever.



"The Senate should either do its duty and vote on my candidates, or formally adjourn so I can schedule break dates," Trump said. "We have an enormous number of people who have to come into government. And now more than ever because of the virus and the problem."

Legislators in both chambers are not expected to return to the Capitol by May 4, but both the House and the Senate have held pro forma meetings in the meantime. These meetings prevent Trump from scheduling break dates.

"Current practice of leaving the city while improper pro forma sessions are being conducted is a breach of duty that the American people cannot afford in this crisis," he said. "It's a fraud what you do. It's a fraud. And everyone knows it and it's been like that for a long time."

Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution grants Trump the power "to convene both houses or one of the two on exceptional occasions, and in the event of any disagreement between them as to the date of the adjournment, he may adjourn them at that time as he should be correct. "

This means that the GOP-controlled senate would have to adjourn so that the president can do and dismiss both while the house held by the Democrats raises objections. Senate Democrats also have procedural tools to prevent the Senate from being adjourned.

The National Constitutional Center stated that "no president has ever exercised authority".

"Perhaps it has never been done before, no one is sure if it is," said Trump. "But we will do it. We need these people here. We need people for this crisis and we don't want to play political games anymore."

Jonathan Turley, a constitutional law professor who witnessed the GOP during the impeachment hearings, warned Trump against taking the step.

"The President has just said that he can postpone Congress unilaterally. ... This power has never been used and should not be used now," he tweeted.

The president only said that he could postpone Congress unilaterally. This appears to be a reference to Article II, Section 3, which allows a president to convene or adjourn the chambers on “exceptional occasions”. This power has never been used and should not be used now. . .

Republican Senate officials were expected to hold pro-forma meetings for another three weeks on Thursday afternoon to reach the Chamber's new return flight date on May 4 after the corona virus postponed this date.

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) Did not immediately say whether Trump's comments would change the GOP plan or whether the Republicans would now unanimously try to pass a postponement decision that sparked a struggle with the Democrats.

Instead, a spokesman for the GOP leader said McConnell spoke to Trump on Wednesday about "the unprecedented handicap of the President's well-qualified candidates by the Senate Democrats and shared his continued frustration with the process."

"The chairman promised to find ways to confirm candidates who are critical to the COVID-19 pandemic, but according to Senate rules that require chairman Schumer's approval," the spokesman added.

The Trump administration has long been plagued with job vacancies across the government. Trump has refused to appoint full-time key officers instead of relying on officers with acting roles.

One hundred and fifty of 749 "key positions" pursued by the Washington Post and Partnership for Public Service have no candidates, while another 15 are waiting to be nominated.

The Department of Homeland Security, a key agency protecting against corona virus and other national security threats, has had no full-time secretary for over a year. A number of other top positions in the department remain vacant.

Trump cited the director of the National Intelligence Service, two members of the Federal Reserve Board, the Under Secretary of Agriculture responsible for managing food security programs, and the head of the United States' Global Media Agency as candidates he asked for and be confirmed in the course of Pandemic waiting.

Deputy Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) has not yet heard before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Judy Shelton, one of Trump's Federal Reserve Board nominees, has yet to receive a vote before the Senate Banking Committee after being skeptically received by the panel's GOP members early on.

Trump's comments are likely to fuel the fight for nominations that have emerged as lightning rods in recent years. Senate Republicans went "nuclear" in 2019 to change the Senate's rules and shorten the time it takes to confirm most of the nominees and district judges. But the Democrats are still able to force McConnell to devour days for a single nomination, according to the Chamber's rules.

Trump pointed to the number of Senate-confirmed judicial nominations that were a top priority for McConnell: 193. However, he argued that the candidates for the executive were up in the air for years because the Democrats "slowed it down".

"It's a very unfair system," said Trump. "There is no time for others and many of these people have waited two and a half years. We cannot have the Democrats approve them. It is only a concerted effort to make life difficult."

It's unclear what caused Trump to launch an attack on Tuesday's congressional confirmation process, but it was the most recent instance of the president who used his coronavirus briefings to wage political struggles since his White House was treated for treating him Pandemic is criticized.

Coronavirus infected approximately 635,000 people in the United States and killed approximately 28,000.

He had previously punished suspected Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden during a briefing, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer

CHARLES (CHUCK) ELLIS SCHUMER

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 (DN.Y.), described as "light weight" and warned the legislature against "guerrilla investigations" after the house convened a special committee to review the federal response to the pandemic.

Trump has also used the briefings to align other proposals with his broader agenda. Earlier this month, he increased patrols against narcotism and announced Tuesday that his government would stop funding the World Health Organization (WHO), accusing it of trusting China too much.

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