Democrats in the Senate are trying to delay confirmation hearings for Donald Trump’s top Cabinet picks until the federal government’s ethics agency has all the paperwork it needs to vet his appointees.
According to top Democrat leaders, the GOP is trying to race through the hearings without subjecting Trump’s nominees to their due scrutiny. And while they don’t have enough seats in the Senate to effectively block Trump’s chosen Cabinet, they are determined to keep these hearings going as long as possible. The longer Congress is stuck in confirmation hearings, the longer Democrats can keep Trump’s conservative agenda at bay.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was resolute on Sunday, however, that confirmation hearings would proceed as scheduled. While promising that no final votes would be held until FBI background checks had been completed, McConnell said Democrats were just playing politics.
“The Democrats are really frustrated that they lost the election,” he said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” McConnell said that he could relate to their predicament, having been there himself in 2009.
“What did we do? We confirmed seven Cabinet appointments the day President Obama was sworn in. We didn’t like most of them, either. But he won the election,” McConnell said. “So all of these little procedural complaints are related to their frustration at having not only lost the White House, but having lost the Senate. I understand that. But we need to, sort of, grow up here and get past that. We need to have the president’s national security team in place on Day 1. And papers are still coming in.”
Meanwhile, McConnell’s opposite in the Senate, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, released a statement on Sunday accusing Republicans of speeding past the ethics office.
“No administration, Republican or Democrat, has tried to do what these Republicans are trying to do with their nominees,” Schumer said. “Rather than ensuring that nominees are thoroughly vetted and will remove themselves from conflicts of interests, Senate Republicans are trying to ram them through as quickly as possible.”
If Republicans are rushing things, it’s only because Schumer and the Democrats have publicly warned that they will stand opposed to many of the nominees. GOP senators are not inclined to give Democrats weeks of laborious, nitpicking hearings that have nothing to do with the nominees and everything to do with liberal showboating.
They still can’t believe they lost.
Reality will catch up to them sooner or later. In the meantime, the adults will have to make the decisions.