WASHINGTON — Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, chairman of the Financial Services Committee, has told Richard Cordray not to bother.
This is part of the recent evidence that government is getting some adult supervision.
Barack Obama used a recess appointment to make Cordray director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. But a federal circuit court has declared unconstitutional three other recess appointments made the same day because the Senate was not in recess.
So Hensarling has told Cordray not to testify before his committee: "Absent contrary guidance from the United States Supreme Court, you do not meet the statutory requirements of a validly serving director of the CFPB, and cannot be recognized as such."
Last week the Federal Aviation Administration promoted chaos in travel by furloughing air traffic controllers, supposedly because the sequester cuts — 4 percent of its budget — cannot be otherwise implemented.
Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., notes that the FAA says its 15,000 air traffic controllers must be furloughed in the same proportion as its 32,000 other employees, who include librarians, historians, speechwriters, PR people, congressional and White House liaisons, and many others perhaps less essential to the FAA's primary mission than are people in O'Hare's control tower.
Even were the FAA's claim true, the chance of which is vanishingly small, Congress could explicitly give Obama the discretion he pretends not to have to make sequester cuts compatible with rational priorities
He and congressional Democrats oppose this because they want government to become so irrationally painful that the suffering public will demand more government.
Obama may think his powers of persuasion can convince the public that as chief executive he is a mere bystander in the executive branch. About those powers . . .
In 2009, he flew to Copenhagen to give a speech about himself (he referred to himself 26 times in 48 sentences), expecting this to enchant the International Olympic Committee into awarding Chicago the 2016 games.
Unenthralled, the committee made Chicago the first city eliminated from the competition.
Since then, Obama has campaigned for Obamacare without making it popular and against Republican candidates without success in 2010.
Still, his faith in the potent ointment of his words is probably unshaken by even the failure of his barnstorming in support of gun legislation almost weirdly unrelated to the event — Newtown — to which it was supposedly a response.