By Steve Holland and Patricia Zengerle
WASHINGTON, Apr 15 (Reuters) – United States President Donald Trump threatened on Wednesday to use his powers to suspend the United States Congress, saying he is frustrated that lawmakers are not in Washington to confirm their nominees to be federal judges and other government officials.
“The current practice of leaving the city while holding false pro forma sessions is a breach of duty that the American people cannot afford during this crisis,” an upset Trump told reporters at his daily press conference at the Casa Blanca.
No president of the United States has used this authority, included in the Constitution, to suspend both houses of Congress if they cannot agree on a date to take a recess.
It is not clear if the absence of legislators in Congress could be classified as a lack of agreement to achieve a date of suspension of activities. Congressional leaders did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Members of the Republican-controlled Senate and the Democrat-led House of Representatives have not stepped in Congress since last month, as government and health officials recommend Americans stay home to avoid the spread of the deadly virus.
As is typical during congressional recesses, both houses have continued to hold regular “pro forma” sessions,
brief meetings that can last less than a minute.
(Report by Steve Holland and Patricia Zengerle; written by Patricia Zengerle and Daphne Psaledakis. Edited in Spanish by Rodrigo Charme)