As the beginning of the Senate’s August recess drew closer, much of the country began to worry that President Trump would take advantage of the break and use it as an opportunity to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions and replace him with someone who was willing to fire special counsel Robert Mueller. Americans can rest easy for now, though, thanks to a surprising act of defiance from the Senate.
On Thursday, the Senate blocked Trump from making recess appointments by unanimously agreeing to hold pro forma sessions — brief meetings that usually last about a minute — throughout the August break.
Several news personalities tweeted news about the Senate’s decision on Thursday evening.
C-SPAN’s Craig Caplan was one of the first to reveal that the Senate will be holding nine pro forma sessions every three days during their recess. They will return for regular business on September 5.
7:01pm: Senate’s now out for August recess but will hold 9 pro forma sessions every 3 days until returning for legislative business Sept 5. pic.twitter.com/h1B7LvlRZ0
— Craig Caplan (@CraigCaplan) August 3, 2017
WSB reporter Jamie Dupree revealed the specific dates for the sessions.
Senate to meet in pro forma sessions on August 4, 8, 11, 15, 18, 22, 25, 29 and September 1. Next votes Sept 5
— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) August 3, 2017
Meanwhile, Fox News’ Clint Henderson and Chad Pergram also commented on the news:
Per @ChadPergram Senate out until September 5. Looks like they’re setting up a pro forma session which means no recess appointments
— clint henderson (@ClintPHenderson) August 3, 2017
Senate out until September 5. Sets up 9 pro forma sessions for the month. No possibility of recess appointments
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) August 3, 2017
Many people responded to the above tweets and made it clear that they support this move by the Senate. At the same time, a few reacted by lamenting Congress’ supposed ineffectiveness.
This news comes shortly after Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) warned Trump about trying to replace Sessions during the Senate’s recess.
Schumer said during remarks on the Senate floor in late July:
‘Many Americans must be wondering if the president is trying to pry open the office of attorney general to appoint someone during the August recess who will fire special counsel Mueller and shut down the Russia investigation.
‘Democrats will never go along with the recess appointment if that situation arises. We have some tools in our toolbox to stymie such action. We’re ready to use every single one of them.’
Pro forma sessions have been used repeatedly for decades to block recess appointments. The Senate used them last year to keep President Obama from filling the Supreme Court seat left vacant by Antonin Scalia.
Featured image via Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images.