Justice

President Obama Has Made Far Fewer Recess Appointments Than Any Recent President

Despite the inevitable conservative complaints that President Obama is engaged in some kind of massive overreach by recess appointing Richard Cordray as the nation’s chief consumer financial protection watchdog, the truth is that Obama has used his recess appointment power very sparingly. After today’s appointment, President Obama will have made a total of 29 recess appointments. By comparison, George W. Bush made 171 recess appointments; Bill Clinton made 139 recess appointments; George H.W. Bush made 77 recess appointments; and Ronald Reagan made 243. When you divide these numbers by the number of years each man spent in the White House, it reveals that Obama is far and away the least likely president to invoke this power: