Pro Forma Sessions Under ObamaAugust 12, 2009 - by Donny Shaw
CA Berkeley WV explains why:
…we only had to use this before January 2009, you say? Isn’t it only to keep the likes of a Cheney administration from making more recess appointments of rejected nominees? Yes, but not this time. This time it is being used to keep the current nominations blocked by truculent Senators on both sides of the aisle from expiring. There are 32 nominations still on Executive Calendar No.106 prepared for September 8, 2009 when the Senate returns.
Rule XXXI that states a nomination will expire if the Senate is in recess for more than 30 days. So, if I count my knuckles correctly, and put on my fuzzy new math hat, today is just right. This does not put Dawn Johnson, Cass R. Sustein, or John McHugh to work any sooner, but it does keep the process moving along instead of going back to the beginning. After all, there are 1,200 positions that require Senate confirmations now.