In one fell swoop, this Congress has divested itself of yet another authority and simultaneously strengthened the power of the President by alleviating itself from the drudgery and grind of confirming numerous agency appointments for positions that many different Congresses involved in the formation of those agencies and positions thought were important enough to demand their attention. They did this because they have so many more important things to do in their daily duties enumerated in Article 1, section 8 that they can't get it all done and are extremely tired at the end of the day, not to mention that it will sure cut into their fact-finding junket time.
Now some will argue that this is the greatest thing Congress has yet accomplished to alleviate the overworked Senate of exhausting minutia to concentrate on more important matters. Indeed, that's what the wording of the bill states that it's meant to accomplish.
There's certainly nothing wrong with this bill's Constitutionality, for indeed, Article 2, section two states, "...and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments."
If these positions are so unimportant, why can't the Senate just give them a quick thumbs up or down and move on? If the positions are indeed that unimportant, why continue to have them to begin with? Instead of delegating appointment with no need for Congressional confirmation, why not just do away with the positions and really streamline government, not to mention reduce expenditures of using taxpayer money to employ these unimportant people?
If they're so unimportant, then why bog down the President to make such appointments when the Constitution states they could vest appointment in the courts of law or heads of the departments where the positions exist as well? Surely the President has more important things on his plate as well.
No, there's a reason why they gave the President such unfettered authority rather than bumping it down to the department heads. There's a reason why they were contemplating a voice vote to avoid record. Perhaps we should consider ramifications of this in terms of similarities with the Enabling Act.
Last thought: Slowly... Slowly...
Update (23 Aug 12) - I've had a few remarks that I was being as disingenuous and deceitful as Harry Reid alleging Mitt Romney paid no income taxes for 10 years based on an anonymous phone call.
I had seen the proof in a statement from a Representative, but was having such a hard time finding it when writing this because of the wonders that is known as facebook. I still can't find it through my facebook account, but luckily it's available through a google search.
In reponse to a query, Justin Amash (R-MI) replied:
Leadership informed GOP Reps that passage of the bill was a "Romney ask," so dozens of Reps flipped to "yes".I've heard that this may effect several hundred appointments, but I'm too lazy atm to look it up. This seems like nothing more than a huge giveaway to the President in providing him with many well-paying government jobs to favored donors to the campaign of whomever wins. Republican or Democrat, it doesn't matter. Business as usual inside the beltway.
It will be interesting to see who fills these appointments after this coming election...