Senate Democrats Will Not be a Rubber Stamp for Trump's 'Radical' Cabinet Picks

Multiple Senate leaders are planning to use the few weapons they have left to block Trump's radical cabinet picks, according to a Politico report.

Senate Democrats said they plan to give Trump's cabinet picks the same care Mitch McConnell brought to Merrick Garland's Supreme Court nomination. Which is to say, they're not afraid to force up to 30 hours of debate per nominee, which would take weeks off the Senate calendar and cripple the progress of Trump's first 100 days. This, Politico notes, "would be highly disruptive for a GOP Senate that usually works limited hours but has big ambitions for next year." 

Controversial choices like Jeff Sessions and Steven Mnuchin, "demand a thorough public airing." As Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio told Politico, of Republicans, “They’ve been rewarded for stealing a Supreme Court justice. 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.” 

Sen. Dianne Feinstein invoked Republicans' treatment of Garland, telling Politico, "Past is present, and what goes around comes around. Now, those are pretty hackneyed sayings, but those are really true around here." 

Others, notably Joe Manchin, one of five senators who is up for reelection in pro-Trump states, are not joining the obstructionist party. "That’s just bullshit" was his response to questions about blocking Trump's nominees. He continued, “My God, I think we should have an attorney general in place on January 20. I sure do believe that." 

Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut fell somewhere in the middle. He wants a Secretary of State chosen quickly, but was adamant that, "I’m not going to vote for radical nominees, and I’m not going to vote for totally unprepared nominees....But if a nominee is more to the mainstream of the Republican Party and has experience in the field they’re undertaking to oversee, there will be Democratic votes." 

Either way, Jeff Sessions, Betsy DeVos and other members of the Cabinet of Horrors better get ready for the Merrick Garland treatment.


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