by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
U.S. Senate Republicans plan to offer Americans a lesson on recent political history. Susan Crabtree reports for the Washington Examiner.
Senate Republicans have launched a public shaming campaign to try to shift public opinion against Democrats’ threats to stall action on eight of Donald Trump’s Cabinet nominees until March.
Democrats, led by new Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., have repeatedly warned that they will drag out confirmation votes with a series of procedural tactics. They say they have no qualms delaying the Trump nominees if they feel they don’t receive adequate background information and financial records and don’t have enough time to review them.
Senate Republicans, during their first day of the new Congressional session, started fighting back. While they are preparing for some inevitable delays, they are also pointing to their own record of quickly acquiescing to most of President Obama’s Cabinet choices as a model for the way forward.
“If I’m not mistaken, on the day that President Obama was sworn into office, Jan. 20, 2009, there were seven Cabinet members…who were confirmed that day – seven,” Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, said Tuesday in a speech on the Senate floor. “To me, that demonstrates the sort of good faith and accommodation that this Senate should continue.”
Five more Obama early nominees were confirmed by voice vote the end of his first week in office, including Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, according to a Senate GOP release.
Republicans privately are dismissing the Democratic delays as particularly egregious because Republicans could have more easily opposed Obama’s early choices because back then Senate rules allowed the minority party to filibuster nominees, which could only be overcome by 60 votes.
Cornyn must have forgotten the “good for thee, not for me” mentality frequently encountered across the political aisle.