Senate Democrats are reportedly plotting a course to either delay or put a stop to President-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet picks.
“While House Democrats appear to be tripling down on their failing battle plan, led by a tired septuagenarian leadership team, Senate Democrats are changing course,” Townhall’s Guy Benson reported. “Rather than angrily decrying obstructionism – some convenient exceptions to these complaints always applied – they’re returning to the pro-obstructionism approach they haven’t embraced since, well … the last Republican administration.”
Leader of the Senate Democrats, Chuck Schumer (above), is maneuvering to turn the tables on Trump in time for the next session – in anticipation of Republicans controlling the White House and legislative chambers.
“Senate Democrats are preparing to put Donald Trump’s Cabinet picks through a grinding confirmation process, weighing delay tactics that could eat up weeks of the Senate calendar and hamper his first 100 days in office,” Politico announced.
In interviews last week, multiple Democratic senators expressed that after seeing Republicans sit on Merrick Garland’s Supreme Court nomination for almost a full year, they are far from anxious to expedite Trump’s selections for his cabinet.
“They’ve been rewarded for stealing a Supreme Court justice,” Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) told Politico. “We’re going to help them confirm their nominees, many of whom are disqualified? It’s not obstruction, it’s not partisan – it’s just a duty to find out what they’d do in these jobs.”
For the Democrats, delaying is the name of the game.
“Senate Democrats can’t block Trump’s appointments, which in all but one case need only 51 votes for confirmation,” Politico pointed out. “But they can turn the confirmation process into a slog. Any individual senator can force Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to hold procedural votes on nominees.”
Long road ahead?
According to senior Democrats, a series of procedural votes will be held for a large number of the president-elect’s nominees.
“Democrats could conceivably force up to 30 hours of debate for each Cabinet nominee, which would be highly disruptive for a GOP Senate that usually works limited hours, but has big ambitions for next year,” the political website informed. “Democrats will force retired Marine Gen. James Mattis to get 60 votes for a legislative waiver to become secretary of defense, and they’re singling out at least four other nominations for strict scrutiny …. Democrats interviewed for this story, said that Republicans’ treatment of Garland is impossible to forget.”
Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) calls the planned move a sort of payback.
“Past is present, and what goes around comes around,” Feinstein expressed in an interview. “Now, those are pretty hackneyed sayings, but those are really true around here.”
Don’t forget …
It is contended that the Democratic senator has a selective memory when it comes to nominees of the not-so-distant past.
“What goes around comes around? … Let’s recall that Merrick Garland was nominated by a lame-duck president in an election year,” the news site pointed out. “The Senate GOP – elected to the majority on an anti-Obama platform by the American people in 2014 – chose not to move on the nomination, based on the standard of action urged by Vice President Joe Biden when he was a member of the upper chamber. Feinstein’s formulation would make more sense if Mitch McConnell weren’t merely following the Biden Rule. As for ‘past is present,’ remember this nihilistic GOP obstructionism when President Obama first took office?”
A recollection was then shared about Obama cleaning house at the beginning of his first term.
“Eight years ago, when the roles were reversed, with Barack Obama taking office and an all-Democratic Congress, Republicans were mostly deferential to the incoming president,” the report continued. “On Obama’s first day in office, the Senate confirmed seven of Obama’s Cabinet nominees. By the end of that week, it had cleared more than a dozen senior-level positions, all without dissent except for Hillary Clinton’s nomination to be secretary of state, for which the GOP demanded a roll call.”
It is anticipated that when Trump moves into the White House, Democrats will not give him the same treatment that Obama received in January 2009.
“It is always the intention – at the start of a new administration – to have a smooth transition,” McConnell’s spokesman Don Stewart explained. “That’s something President Obama recently called for and that Democrats always say they want. When the shoe was on the other foot, Republicans worked with Democrats to confirm the president’s Cabinet in a very, very timely manner.”
Politico says that when Trump sits behind his desk in the Oval Office for the first time in January, he shouldn’t expect much cooperation from Democrats.
“Democrats are looking at escalating the arms race of tactical partisan warfare in the U.S. Senate,” Politico impressed. “Ironically, the last time they did so was by nuking the filibuster on almost all presidential nominations, thus removing one of the most potent arrows they would currently have in their quivers to slow or defeat the Trump picks they find most objectionable. That move by [then-Senator Majority Leader] Harry Reid was designed to overcome Republican blockages of a number of majority-supported Obama nominations to the federal judiciary, a practice pioneered by – ta da! – Harry Reid and the Democrats, during the Bush years. The Reid Rule is now in effect. What goes around comes around, indeed.”
Not seeing eye-to-eye with Schumer, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) doesn’t want to see Democrats trying to wreak havoc with Trump’s nominations after January 20.
“That’s just [wrong],” exclaimed Manchin, who is one of five Democratic senators up for reelection in 2018 in states that went to Trump in a landslide. “I think we should have an attorney general in place on Jan. 20. I sure do believe that.”
A final warning was given to Democrats.
“May they all heed the political demise of former Senator Tom Daschle – a powerful Red state Democrat forcibly retired by his constituents for his quarterbacking of Bush-era obstructionism in 2004,” Politico’s report concluded.
Copyright American Family News. Reprinted with permission.