Republicans may control the Senate, but that doesn’t mean every nominee President Donald Trump puts forward is going to be confirmed without a fight. Betsy DeVos, who has been a controversial appointee for no apparent reason got narrowly confirmed today — while two others saw their confirmations blocked.As CBS News reported:
Republicans delayed indefinitely planned Senate committee votes on President Donald Trump’s picks to be Health and Treasury secretaries on Tuesday after Democrats boycotted the session and demanded more information on the two nominees’ past financial behavior.The extraordinary and abrupt postponement came as congressional Democrats, in a confrontational mood over Trump administration actions, also used lengthy speeches at a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting considering Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., to be attorney general.
In an unusual and hastily called briefing for reporters, Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee said they would not attend the panel’s planned votes until they could ask more questions about Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., the Health nominee and Steve Mnuchin, Trump’s Treasury selection, who they said had misled Congress about their backgrounds.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., said the men would hold positions “that directly affect peoples’ lives every day. The truth matters.” Democrats cited one report in The Wall Street Journal that Price received a special, discounted offer to buy stock in a biomedical company, which contradicted his testimony to Congress.Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee were able to prevent the panel from holding their votes, because, under committee rules, 13 members, including at least one Democrat, must be present for votes. The 23 person committee has 14 Republicans and 12 Democrats overall.
The article goes on to say:
Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, accused Democrats of “a lack of desire to fulfill their constitutional responsibilities.” “They ought to stop posturing and acting like idiots,” he said.Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said the Democratic boycott “denied President Trump two more of his cabinet members,” and complained that that Democrats “continue to criticize [the Trump administration] even though they deny them the team they need to do their job.”
Orrin Hatch commented on the pointlessness of the boycott, stating that its inevitable the two men will be confirmed, so nothing is to be gained by postponing the vote.
Will they boycott the next meeting, too? Keep in mind these are the same people who complained about Republicans obstructing President Obama. At least the Republicans showed up for work.
[Note: This post was written by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]