"These were people that are highly qualified, that were considered 'consensus candidates,' prior to a few weeks ago," Spicer said. "And I think that it really speaks volumes that the Democratic leadership is not working with us to ensure a continuity of government."
We Say: Democrats flex their puny muscles in Senate Hearings. Slow-walking the confirmation hearings is about the only way the Democrats have of flexing their puny muscles. They pontificate, ask “gotcha” questions, and seldom engage in meaningful dialogue designed to develop constructive policy beneficial to We the People.
They appear afraid that as Donald Trump’s administration gets up to speed, he is likely to deliver on campaign promises and improve the lives of hard-working, blue-collar workers, inner city minorities, etc.
Imagine how irrelevant that would make these whiny, Party-of-No establishment politicians.
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Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., announced Thursday that he plans to drag out the confirmation process for eight of Donald Trump‘s cabinet nominees.
Schumer said Republicans have not allowed enough time for committees to question and vet many of the nominees, including Trump’s Health and Human Services pick Tom Price, Housing and Urban Development nominee Ben Carson, and Education Department nominee Betsy DeVos.
Democrats promised only two nominees will get a confirmation vote on Friday after Trump is sworn in, compared to the seven nominees Republicans helped clear on President Obamas first day in office on Jan. 20, 2009. Democrats instead plan to hold extended floor debates on each Cabinet pick, which will leave Trump’s Cabinet empty for weeks.
Senate Democrats justified the delay by saying Republicans didn’t agree to longer committee hearings. They blamed the nominees, too, for failing to turn in required paperwork in time for thorough review.
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“We intend to have a full and rigorous debate on the president-elect’s remaining nominees,” Schumer said. “Senate Republicans did not want to have a full debate on the merits of these nominees in committee, but they should be prepared to do so on the floor of the United States Senate.”
Senate Democrats have little power to stop nominees from clearing with a simple majority vote in the GOP-led Senate. But they can drag out the process for weeks by refusing to agree to a quick voting schedule. And that is what they plan to do.
For example, Schumer said Democrats want more time for an ethics investigation into stock purchases by Price, a doctor and House lawmaker from Georgia.
“What Congressman Price did cries out for investigation,” Schumer said, pointing to his investment in a knee and hip replacement company. “Then a week later, he introduced very narrow legislation that would have reduced regulations on that very company.”
Price denied making the direct stock pick and said a broker did it for him.
Schumer said DeVos also needs additional floor scrutiny after a one-day hearing he called “so appalling to so many Americans.” Democrats disagree with DeVos on many education policy issues, in particular school vouchers and charter schools.
Even Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala. won’t get a quick vote, despite turning in his paperwork on time and the Judiciary Committee’s decision to hold two days of hearings on his nomination to become the next attorney general.
“He did submit papers in time and we did get two days of hearings,” Schumer acknowledged. “His hearing is one of the few that went decently well. But, there are so many issues people have that my colleagues want to continue the debate on the Senate floor.”
Others who are expected to see delays are Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson, Treasury Secretary-designate Steven Mnuchin, Office of Management and Budget Director-designate Mick Mulvaney, Labor Secretary-designate Andrew Puzder, and EPA Administrator-designate Scott Pruitt.
Trump’s incoming press secretary, Sean Spicer, said Thursday the new administration is disappointed in the long list of delayed confirmations, which he said include consensus picks like South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, tapped to serve as U.N. ambassador, and Elaine Chao, who Trump selected to run the Transportation Department.
“These were people that are highly qualified, that were considered ‘consensus candidates,’ prior to a few weeks ago,” Spicer said. “And I think that it really speaks volumes that the Democratic leadership is not working with us to ensure a continuity of government.”
Schumer insisted Democrats are “not trying to drag anything out” and that “most Americans would agree,” with taking more time, “to see who they are and what they intend to do before they take office.”
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