(CNSNews.com) - White House Legislative Affairs Director Marc Short complained Friday of Senate Democrats’ obstruction of President Donald Trump’s nominees, saying at this rate, it will take 11 and a half years for his nominees to be given an up-or-down vote.
In the last four administrations combined, the Senate held 17 cloture votes of presidential nominees compared to the 79 cloture vote in the first 14 months of the Trump administration, Short noted.
“At this point, in the past four administrations combined -- the last four administrations -- the Senate had conducted 17 cloture votes combined - cloture vote, in essence, being a filibuster on a nominee. Seventeen cloture votes in the last four administrations combined, at this point,” Short said.
“Today, the Senate has had 79 cloture votes in the first 14 months of our administration. Seventeen, over the last four administrations, versus 79 in the first 14 months of our administration. That is roughly five times the number of the last four administrations combined,” Short said.
He accused Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) of “weaponizing a Senate procedure and demanding cloture votes on our nominees that he even eventually supports.”
“Eleven of the president's nominees have been approved without a single dissenting vote, yet still forced to go through a 30-hours of debate to essentially slow down the Senate calendar simply for the purpose of obstruction. Even Senate Democrats have begun to call this out and to say it is getting to the point of ridiculous,” Short said“At this rate, the United States Senate would take 11 and a half years to confirm our nominees - 11 and a half years to confirm our nominees, Short added.
Short explained how the nomination process usually works:
"The Senate, obviously, has the constitutional responsibility for advice and consent. So what that looks like in real life is the president selects a nominee, they then undergo an entire FBI background check. They work with the Office of Government Ethics to de-conflict financial issues -- and that's a process that takes a good amount of time, a good amount of resources.
“Only then, after cleared through an FBI background check and the Office of Government Ethics, is a nominee submitted to the United States Senate. When they get to the Senate, they go through several additional evaluations, including meetings with staff, meetings with the members on both sides of the aisle. The nominee then undergoes a hearing and the committee then votes on the nominee to get out of that committee.
“At that point, the nominee moves to the Senate floor for full confirmation. Traditionally, the Senate routinely confirms the administration's nominees once out of committee. It is there to respect the will of the American people and the election for an administration to fill out its roles under a new president. Instead, what Senator Schumer has done is to require cloture votes to essentially slow down the process and to obstruct.”
Short compared how the Democrats treated Trump’s nominees to the way previous presidents’ nominees were treated.
“So, let me give you one more example of the comparison, historically. In the first entire term of the George H.W. Bush administration, his entire four years, he faced one cloture vote. In the entire four years of the Clinton administration, he faces 10 cloture votes. Under the George W. Bush administration, the entire first term, he faced four cloture votes,” Short said.
“Barack Obama faced 17 in his first entire four years. We have faced 79 in our first 14 months. That adds up to 32 combined in the entire first four years of those administrations, relative to 79 in our first less than a year and a half,” he said.