Speed Reads

High Hopes

The odds Trump could actually adjourn Congress are 'infinitesimal' but the 'absolute absurdity' is high

President Trump's proposal, floated Wednesday evening, that he might unilaterally adjourn Congress to force through recess appointments is not only legally questionable, it would be essentially impossible for him to carry out, Politico's Anna Palmer and Jake Sherman report Thursday morning. In theory, Trump has the constitutional right to adjourn Congress if the House and Senate can't agree on when to adjourn, but one reason no president has ever tried to do that is it would be "exceedingly hard," they write, explaining:

To understand the absolute absurdity of Trump's argument, here's what would have to happen: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would have to bring the Senate back, and they'd have to vote to adjourn. Speaker Nancy Pelosi would then have to bring the House back, and the House would have to amend the Senate's adjournment resolution — essentially voting against it. Then the Senate would have to disagree to the House's amendment. Only then can Trump adjourn Congress, according to experts. But the odds of that are so infinitesimal they are hardly calculable. [Politico]

And it gets worse for Trump. Pelosi wouldn't have to do a thing to sink the adjournment attempt, and if Trump "were to somehow force adjournment," she could immediately thwart it, "like seconds after it happens," Palmer and Sherman report. Read more about Trump's impossible dream at Politico.