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Carney Defends Cordray Recess Appointment: "Constitution Trumps Gimmicks"

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White House press secretary Jay Carney says Senate Republicans gaveling in and gaveling out for seven seconds does not constitute a recess. Therefore, Carney argues, President Obama operated in a legal manner when he appointed Richard Cordray to head the consumer protection board.

"Our assessment is that Congress has been in recess, and had made every indication that it will be in recess for a sustained period of time. And that gaveling in and gaveling out for seven seconds does not constitute a recess with regard to the President's constitutional authority," Carney said at Thursday's briefing.

"Let's take the other, I guess Laura's question, somebody else says the other side, the other extreme here which is that if these gimmicks were all the Senate needed to do to prevent the president from exercising his constitutional authority -- any president -- then no president would ever be able to exercise [it]," Carney contended.

"We're saying this a gimmick versus a Constitutionally-enshrined authority and we feel very comfortable as a legal matter that the Constitution trumps gimmicks. Thanks."

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