The only way the president can make a recess appointment for Cordray is if Congress is actually in recess. And ever since late May, Congress has remained in permanent session, mainly because Republican lawmakers want to prevent any more recess appointments.
Donald Ritchie, the Senate's official historian, says several presidents have used a constitutional provision that allows them to convene a session of Congress.
"But there is this other provision that says, well, if the two houses themselves can't agree on an adjournment, the president can adjourn Congress," Ritchie says. "It's just that no president has ever exercised that constitutional authority." NPR
Friday, December 09, 2011
Congress Not Recessing so Obama Can't Make Recess Appointments
Unbelievable. By one definition (it can be argued Congress has been on an extended recess), Congress hasn't been recessing so that Obama can't make recess appointments: