President Donald Trump slammed pro forma sessions by Congress as a “scam” and threatened to use his Constitutional authority to shut down both the House and Senate.
The president called out what he saw as congressional obstruction during his remarks at a coronavirus task force briefing at the White House Wednesday, warning that he could force Congress to adjourn rather than continue the pro forma sessions being conducted.
Lawmakers are not due to return to the Capitol until May 4 in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic but have been holding sessions every few days, effectively preventing the president from making any recess appointments. Trump railed against their “dereliction of duty” as he slammed Democrats for stalling on his judicial appointments and other nominations.
“The Senate should either fulfill its duty and vote on my nominees or it should formally adjourn so I can make recess appointments,” the president said from the Rose Garden.
“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,” he continued.
The president threatened to use the never-before implemented executive authority to dismiss both the Senate and the House, arguing that this moment of national crisis due to the coronavirus is even more reason his appointees need to be confirmed.