Remarks from a Drake University-Woodrow Wilson Center Seminar, September 19, 2007
President Barack Obama made a controversial move in early January by making four recess appointments to fill vacancies in top government positions, even though Congress was intentionally avoiding long recesses to block such a move. While the recess ploy may score political points by highlighting Senate delays in approving nominations, it is straining constitutional bounds and inter-branch relations.
July 2, 2007 By Don Wolfensberger,Roll Call Contributing Writer
In a rare show of bipartisanship, Congress agreed in October to fund the government for six more months rather than suffer the political consequences of a government shutdown. While outrage over the killing of U.S. personnel in Libya threatened to derail the agreeement, pressures to adjourn for election campaigns prevailed.
The Wilson Center's Don Wolfensberger, former chief of staff of the House Rules Committee, reflects on the fate of well-intentioned congressional reforms.