Free Markets, Free People

Constitutional Amendments

Proposed Constitutional Amendment

I think the president’s recess appointment power should be revised, as indeed the entire process of nomination and confirmation to appointed posts. The recess appointment power is really a holdover of the days when Congress was absent from Washington DC for 6 to 9 months of the year. At the same time, I don’t think the Framers intended for Congress to defeat appointments via filibuster, either. A president deserves an up-or-down vote on his nominees. So I would propose an amendment that does the following things:

1. Repeal the power of the president to make recess appointments.

2. The Senate must return a confirmation vote on all presidential appointees within 60 working days.

3. If no vote has been held within 45 working days, cloture on the debate will be automatically imposed, and all other Senate business must cease until a confirmation vote is held.

4. If a confirmation vote is not held within 60 working days, the nomination is automatically confirmed, and the Senate majority and minority leaders will be expelled from the Senate, and barred from reelection or reappointment to the Senate during the current term.

This would eliminate the president’s ability to sneak in an unconfirmable nominee during a recess, and would force him to be more selective about his nominees, and would force the Senate to explicitly confirm or reject every nominee, or wave bye-bye to the Senate leadership.

Dale Franks
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