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For Immediate Release
January 4, 2012

Grassley: Presidential Appointment Upends Senate Practice, Legal Precedent

Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Ranking Member of the Committee on the Judiciary, today made the following comment on President Obama’s appointment of Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

“The President is upending years of Senate practice and legal precedent with this move. He’s interpreting advice and consent as bypass and appoint.  It’s an affront to constitutional checks and balances.  It’s also an affront to the principle that every agency should have accountability, which the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau lacks.  The President is ignoring the longstanding advice of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, which has found that an adjournment of ‘5 or even 10 days’ would not be sufficient for a recess appointment.  I’m planning to write to the Attorney General to ask if the President asked for a new Justice Department opinion prior to making this appointment and whether the Attorney General agrees with it.  Regardless, the President needs to make clear why there was a change in position and what rationale the White House counsel used to overturn more than 90 years of Justice Department precedent.  The White House should make the rationale public.  The public’s business ought to be public.  And the President promised to run the most transparent administration in history.”