Sen. Harry Reid, leading the Senate's new Democratic majority, is framing next year's schedule in a way that will make it difficult, if not impossible, for President Bush to give recess appointments to nominees blocked for confirmation.
Reid's schedule limits Senate recesses to one week. Recess appointments usually are made only when Congress has been out of session for at least 10 days. That may kill any consideration of trying to seat federal appeals court judges whose nominations had been stalled even in the Republican-controlled Senate. The downside may be a rebellion by senators if their breaks are held to one week.
The Senate might not get anything meaningful done next year, but at least they are going to show up for work and put an end to recess appointments.