During Wednesday’s White House coronavirus task force briefing, President Trump threatened to exercise his “constitutional authority” to adjourn both chambers of Congress if his nominations aren’t approved.
“The Senate should either fulfill its duty and vote on my nominees or it should formally adjourn so I can make recess appointments,” Trump said, accusing Senate Democrats of the hold up. “We have a tremendous number of people that have to come into government. And now more so than ever before because of the virus and the problem.”
Although lawmakers in both chambers aren’t due to return to Capitol Hill until May 4, both chambers have held pro forma sessions recently, which Trump called “phony.”
“The current practice of leaving town while conducting phony pro forma sessions is a dereliction of duty that the American people can not afford during this crisis,” Trump said. “It is a scam, what they do. It’s a scam. And everybody knows it and it’s been that way for a long time.”
According to Article II, Section 3, Clause 3 of the Constitution, a president can adjourn both chambers if there’s no agreement on an adjournment date. However, a president has yet to exercise that power.
Scroll down for our full coverage of the briefing: