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Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) speaks at CPAC 2012
John Cornyn sees his chance to attack both Barack Obama and the government's ability to function, and he's taking it.
Three Republican senators are seizing on the recent appeals court ruling invalidating President Barack Obama's recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board, pushing a bill that would stop work at the NLRB and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau until the Senate confirms NLRB members and a director for the CFPB. Which the Senate is unlikely to do as long as it's Obama doing the nominating, so really this is about preventing two agencies that Republicans don't much like from doing their work.

The NLRB requires a quorum to function, and with Republicans filibustering Obama's nominations to the board, he made recess appointments in January, 2012. He also recess appointed Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; without a director the CFPB can fulfill some of its functions but not others, and of course, not wanting the bureau to exist at all, Republicans don't want to confirm someone, let alone someone committed to strong oversight.

There's an added bonus for Republican Sens. Mike Johanns, John Cornyn, and Lamar Alexander in introducing this bill—it's not just about hampering or stopping the work of agencies overseeing workers' rights and consumer protection, it's about attacking Obama's legitimacy as president:

"American democracy was born out of a rejection of the monarchies of Western Europe, anchored by limited government and separation of powers," said Cornyn. "We refuse to stand by as this President arrogantly casts aside our Constitution and defies the will of the American people under the guise of defending them."
Obama made some recess appointments—specifically, Obama has made 32 recess appointments as compared with George W. Bush's 171—therefore he is arrogant, like colonial monarchs, and defying the will of the American people as interpreted by John Cornyn. Apparently the American people feel that unless no extremist Republican senator puts a secret hold on a nominee, and unless a supermajority of 60 senators vote to confirm a nominee, then federal agencies should be unable to function, per Cornyn.

Cornyn, self-styled defender of the separation of powers that he currently is, continued thinking Dick Cheney was just grand in spite of Cheney's insistence that he belonged to a fourth branch of government and as such wasn't subject to the law.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 09:33 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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