January 2, 2017

Senate Democrats Plot “Unprecedented” Obstructionism On Cabinet Votes

With the Senate coming into session tomorrow, one of the biggest priorities will be giving advice and consent on the President-elect’s Cabinet nominees. Yet according to the Washington Post, Senate Democrats are plotting an obstructionist campaign that will represent “an unprecedented break with Senate tradition”:

“Democratic senators plan to aggressively target eight of Donald Trump’s Cabinet nominees in the coming weeks and are pushing to stretch their confirmation votes into March — an unprecedented break with Senate tradition. Such delays would upend Republican hopes of quickly holding hearings and confirming most of Trump’s top picks on Inauguration Day. But Democrats, hamstrung by their minority status, are determined to slow-walk Trump’s picks…”

If Senate Democrats actually attempt to push important Cabinet votes to March, that will represent a significant departure with how President Obama’s Cabinet picks were treated. On January 20, 2009, President Obama’s inauguration day, seven of his Cabinet picks were confirmed via voice vote, with Hillary Clinton’s confirmation coming a single day later. In fact, it took just “a little more than three hours” to act on Obama’s nominees, not the three months Senator Schumer is pushing for now.

According to Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), the Senate needed to move quickly on a President Obama’s Cabinet picks so that they could “hit the ground running”:

“Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) urged his colleagues yesterday to move quickly to approve Obama’s nominees. ‘It is up to us, Democrats and Republicans in the Senate, to work as quickly as we can to confirm the worthy nominees so they, along with our president, can hit the ground running,’ he said.”

Yet now, Senator Schumer is shaping up to be an even more extreme obstructionist than Harry Reid, no easy feat. If they actually attempt their plan, Senate Democrat’s unparalleled hypocrisy on the Cabinet will not be forgotten easily, especially not for those red-state Senate Democrats up for re-election in 2018.