Senate Republicans need to act now to overcome Democrat attempts to prevent the transition of administrative power after an election
I pointed out recently that when it comes to judicial nominees, Republicans on the Judiciary Committee have signaled that they will do whatever it takes to get the nominees through the process over Democrat delay tactics.
As to judicial nominees, the slowdown tactics include Democrat Senators refusing to return so-called “blue cards”:
No Democrat has yet returned a “blue slip” signaling acceptance of President Trump’s federal judicial picks — an ominous sign for Republicans, who fear it signals an upcoming attempt to slow-walk the administration’s plans to reshape the federal judiciary….
The issue is about to come to a head, as Senate Republicans will soon have to decide whether to proceed with several key circuit court picks over the reticence of home-state Democratic senators.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican, has signaled that he may alter adherence to the blue slip policy, which is a tradition giving senators a sort of veto over judges picked from their home states who don’t meet with their approval.
Democrats have managed an unprecedented slow walk, requiring cloture votes even on non-controversial nominees.
The White House released the graphic in the Featured Image, and a range of statistics on the obstruction, including the following:
- Democrats in the Senate have delayed crucial appointments made by President Trump in an attempt to obstruct the will of the American people and the President’s agenda.
- Of the 197 Presidential nominations to agencies, the Senate has only confirmed 48.
- Only 2 of President Trump’s 23 judicial nominations have actually been confirmed by the Senate.
- Democrats in the Senate have shown they are willing to break irresponsibly with tradition that allows a President to choose his own appointees in a timely fashion.
- Less than a month away from the August recess, the Senate has confirmed only 23 percent of President Trump’s 216 nominations.
- By the first August recess during President Obama’s first term, the Senate had confirmed 69 percent of his 454 nominations.
Politico reports today on the situation, Trump badly lagging Obama, Bush, Clinton in political appointees:
Trump’s four predecessors were at least three times faster than the current president at getting their nominees into their desks. Some 49 of Trump’s key nominees have been confirmed as of Thursday, according to the Partnership for Public Service, a non-partisan group that tracks more than 500 key appointments. That’s compared to 201 for Barack Obama, 185 for George W. Bush, 196 for Bill Clinton and 148 or George H.W. Bush….
Trump’s team says there is a renewed effort in place to nominate picks more quickly, noting the administration now has 150 nominations in the queue waiting for a Senate hearing. “And there are a lot more in the pipeline,” said Marc Short, the administration’s legislative affairs director.
Short blamed Democrats for slowing many of the nominees with cloture votes — or forcing 30 hours of debate and an up-and-down vote — for nominees that are not controversial, including a judge this week who was eventually confirmed 100-0. Another pick was confirmed 97-3 after a cloture vote was called.
The administration has already faced 30 cloture votes. That’s more than any Congress since 1949 other than in 2013, after Obama was re-elected, according to the Pew Research Center.
In addition to requiring cloture votes and debate, Politico points out Democrats have invoked other rules that normally are waived by agreement:
A senior Democratic aide said the party was deliberately delaying nominees because of the president’s approach and policy agenda and would also continue to invoke the “two-hour rule,” which keeps committees from meeting longer than two hours. This person said there was no benefit to having more of Trump’s people in place.
“We are not going to consent to time agreements while Republicans are trying to jam through a health care bill,” the aide said.
It makes no difference that Trump hasn’t nominated as many people at this stage as other presidents — even if he had, the slowdown would not produce more confirmations.
As much as Republicans opposed Obama, they never engaged in this type of deliberate delay to prevent the Obama administration from staffing.
It’s time for Republicans to consider changing the rules that allow Democrats in the Senate to prevent the transition of administrative power after an election.DONATE
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