In 2005, Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California said President George W. Bush’s decision to “circumvent the Senate” and appoint John Bolton as U.N. Ambassador during a congressional recess was a “mistake” that would “harm the United States’ reputation.” But Pelosi said on Thursday that she is “glad” President Barack Obama made “bold” recess appointments while the Senate was technically still in session.
“The President’s decision to circumvent the Senate and use a recess appointment naming John Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations is a mistake,” Pelosi said in an August 2005 statement.
“For President Bush to use a recess appointment for such a controversial nominee not because there was a compelling case that Mr. Bolton was the best person for the job, but merely because the President had the power to do it subverts the confirmation process in ways that will further harm the United States’ reputation in the eyes of the international community. The American people deserve better.”
Despite widespread criticism of Obama’s recess appointments on Wednesday, Pelosi told The Daily Caller that Obama’s decision was “bold” and Democrats are “glad” the president “took the lead” on the appointments.
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“Let that be the public debate with the Senate but fortunately, or unfortunately for us, we do not have a role in the confirmation process. But we’re glad that the president took the lead, went out there, it was bold and made the appointments,” Pelosi said Thursday at the Capitol.
Obama also appointed three new members to the National Labor Relations Board.
In 2010, Obama’s Deputy Solicitor General Neal Katyal said before the Supreme Court, “The recess appointment power can work in — in a recess. I think our office has opined the recess has to be longer than three days [to make an appointment].”
Pelosi added that she’s “very proud of the President of the United States and the appointments that he made yesterday.”