Representative Collin Peterson (DFL- MN) was the lone House Democrat to vote against the Appointments Act (S.679). Peterson is a socially conservative “blue dog” with a slightly quirky voting record. He opposed the Patriot Act, NCLB, and the Affordable Care Act. He was the lone House Democrat to vote against 2007 legislation to combat price gouging in energy markets. My brisk review didn’t unearth a statement from Peterson on S.679 – I’d be intrigued to hear his reasoning.
In an earlier post, I mentioned that an intriguing aspect of the politics around the passage of S.679 in the House was the NRA’s decision to make it a “key vote,” meaning the vote will be included in its voting scorecard. So did the Heritage Foundation. Heritage VP David Addington, formerly a noted enthusiast of executive power, opposed S.679 on the grounds that it represented an abdication of congressional power. Addington’s words:
Generally, each time Congress by law removes the Senate from a role in the appointment to a federal office, the institutional influence of the Senate diminishes by a marginal amount and the influence of a President increases by a marginal amount. If the office is of little or no authority or consequence, the shift in influence may be immaterial, but if the office wields power that affects the American people, the Congress should not abdicate the Senate checking function.