President Donald Trump thus far in his nearly three-year presidency has not made a single recess appointment, setting a historical precedent in the modern era of the Executive Branch.
No other president has gone this far into their term without making a recess appointment. Indeed, Trump in on pace to not make a single one. The only other president to have not made any was William Henry Harrison, but he died a month into office.
Meanwhile, Ronald Reagan made almost 250 recess appointments during his two terms in office.
George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter each made dozens of theme. George W. Bush had 171 appointments and Barack Obama 32.
Recess appointments generally are not controversial uses of presidential power because they are rife with precedence and clearly laid out in the Constitution.
However, the Washington Times reports, analysts said an evaluation of the process signifies the broken nature of politics in the nation’s capital.
“It’s a very important presidential power,” Hans von Spakovsky, a legal scholar at the conservative Heritage Foundation who was the recipient of a recess appointment to the Federal Election Commission in 2006, told the Times.
“The whole point of that authority was to be able to temporarily fill important positions in the government. If anything, that’s gotten even more important since our founding because of the huge increase of the size of the federal government, and it’s not a good thing to have all these empty slots,” he added.
It has been nearly 2,900 days since the last recess appointment, dating back seven years to the Obama administration, the Times noted. That is by far the longest stretch in history.
A president’s recess appointment power is contained in Article II, which details the role of the executive branch, assigning the president “power to fill up all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate, by granting commissions which shall expire at the end of their next session.”