While on Summer Recess, Congress Blocks Recess Appointments - ProPublica In an effort to block President Obama from making recess appointmentswhich the Constitution allows presidents to doCongressional Republicans have kept Congress technically in session. The Washington Examiner explains: The Republican-controlled House used a procedural move to help force this issue. Though it's the Senate that must confirm presidential appointments, under the U.S. Constitution, it cannot adjourn for more than three days without the approval of the House. So instead of adjourning, both the House and Senate will be conducting what are known as pro forma sessions. What that entails, essentially, is having a member of Congress stick around the Capitol to strike the gavel for what are sometimes seconds-long sessions, according to the Examiner.