U.S. President Donald J. Trump on Wednesday threatened to close Congress under emergency powers to outmaneuver the opposition party that has delayed the approval of hundreds of judges and cabinet appointments.
The stern words came the day after the President froze payments — amounting to some $300+ million annually — to the United Nations affiliate, the World Health Organization, which he accused of misleading U.S. officials about the cause, nature and best course of action to defend the country against the Corona Virus that originated in China, which he claimed was being protected by the WHO.
Speaking to reporters in the Rose Garden, President Trump said the approval of federal judges was necessary for the fight of the fight of the virus, and if Congress wouldn’t approve them quickly — after three years of stalling — he would adjourn both Houses and approve them himself as recess appointments.
With emergency powers granted to him by all 50 states, for the first time, being in a declared state of emergency, Article II, Section 3, of the Constitution provides the loophole to push through those changes.
The President shall have power on extraordinary occasions to convene both Houses, or either of them and in case of a disagreement between them with respect to time of adjournment, he may adjourn them.
The appointments would have to be ratified when Congress resumed session, which would not be until the start of the 117th Congress, on January 4, 2021, when Trump re-election momentum in November would likely lead to control of both Houses by Republicans.
The appointments would include hundreds of judges as well as cabinet-level appointments, he said, including a new director of Voice of America and the Department of Agriculture, Sonny Purdue, who was actually in the Rose Garden audience on Wednesday. He quit his job at the head of his family’s Purdue Farms to prepare for approval hearings that never actually came as Congress dragged its feet to hamstring President Trump’s administration.