The Federal Vacancies Reform Act could suddenly become the Democrats’ worst nightmare since Ronald Reagan. On Thursday, Rod Rosenstein will meet with the president in the White House and when he leaves, he could be out of a job one way or another.
The Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998 is a United States law that requires the executive branch departments and agencies to report to Congress and Government Accountability Office (GAO) information about the temporary filling of vacant executive agency positions that require presidential appointment with Senate confirmation. The act requires the Comptroller General report to specified congressional committees, the president, and the Office of Personnel Management if an acting officer is determined to be serving longer than the 210 days (including applicable exceptions established by the act).
Okay, what does this mean? Simply put, if Rod Rosenstein resigns, President Trump can name a replacement, who can serve up to 210 days without needing consent from the Senate. But, the president has to nominate a permanent replacement right away. The Democrats have said that if Rosenstein quits or get fired, they will not confirm a replacement. But, Trump can appoint someone to do that job while he’s waiting on the Senate to act. The Democrats either have to confirm his choice or go with someone they have no say over.
According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the Federal Vacancies Reform Act was updated in 1998 as a means for presidents to fill a vacant executive agency position through a Senate confirmation.
The Federal Vacancies Reform Act could be a worst-case scenario for Democrats if Rosenstein opts to resign, as many have speculated he may do.
Rosenstein immediately came under scrutiny last week after The New York Times reportedthat he allegedly claimed to want to wear a wire to secretly record Trump in May of 2017 and explored using the 25th Amendment to try and impeach Trump.
Many have called for Trump to fire Rosenstein. Many have also called for Rosenstein to step down in the wake of the reports.
The nightmare for Republicans will be if Rosenstein does not resign or get fired.