President Barack Obama made a controversial move in early January by making four recess appointments to fill vacancies in top government positions, even though Congress was intentionally avoiding long recesses to block such a move. While the recess ploy may score political points by highlighting Senate delays in approving nominations, it is straining constitutional bounds and inter-branch relations.
July 2, 2007 By Don Wolfensberger,Roll Call Contributing Writer
In a rare show of bipartisanship, Congress agreed in October to fund the government for six more months rather than suffer the political consequences of a government shutdown. While outrage over the killing of U.S. personnel in Libya threatened to derail the agreeement, pressures to adjourn for election campaigns prevailed.
October 24, 2006 By Don WolfensbergerRoll Call Contributing Writer
It took nearly a year to resolve differences in creating a Department of Homeland Security --the biggest executive reorganizion in a half-century. This Congress Project seminar explored the interplay of politics and processes to address this new challenge as well as the outlook for the future.
A House passed bill to create a ""Bipartisan Working group on Deficit Reduction and Economic Growth" could provide an opening for a larger deal to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling.
Remarks by Donald R. Wolfensberger to the Russian Duma, 25 January 1999