Senate Democrats have been a nonstop thorn in the side of President Trump since he took office. They have been rampantly blocking his nominees and not just large ones like the nomination of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh but smaller one as well. Now Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is looking to put an end to that.
McConnell wrote an op-ed detailing how Democrats have been placing time limits on votes for nominees, even if the position they are being appointed to is low-tier.
While these smaller positions are less known, having them left vacant still has consequences. Trump had tweeted something similar in mid-March.
McConnell went into more detail writing:
“It took six months of partisan delays — and several railroad accidents — before Democrats let the Senate confirm a federal railroad administrator, even though none of them actually voted against the nominee in the end. It’s been 354 days and counting in Senate purgatory for the president’s nominee to head the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Two-hundred eighty-seven days and counting for the under secretary of state for management. Noncontroversial lower court nominees have languished for weeks and weeks — for no discernible reason — before they, too, were confirmed unanimously.”
In order to put an end to these games, McConnell is proposing that Senate rules be altered so that cloture votes can no longer be used to stall presidential nominees. This is a power that Democrats have grossly abused, blocking FIVE times the number of nominees than the Senate has used on the previous SIX presidents.
“Across the first two years of each of the six presidents preceding President Trump, the Senate only had to hold 24 total cloture votes on nominations. That’s the once-rare procedural step that unlocks an up-or-down confirmation vote even though a minority has sought to block it. And in President Trump’s first two years? We had to hold a stunning 128 cloture votes to advance nominations. Our Democratic colleagues made the Senate jump over five times as many hurdles as in the equivalent periods in the Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations combined,” McConnell stated.
The proposal would only expedite the “consideration of lower-tier nominations,” and would not be applicable in cases of Supreme Court justices, circuit judges or cabinet positions.