White House to Dems: Stop Obstructing Trump's Nominations

Melanie Arter | July 10, 2017 | 7:19pm EDT
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Marc Short, director of Legislative Affairs (CNSNews.com/Melanie Arter)

(CNSNews.com) - Democrats in the Senate have launched an "unprecedented obstruction" campaign of President Donald Trump's nominees, the White House said Monday.

Marc Short, director of Legislative Affairs, likened the Democrats' behavior to children on the playground who take their toys and go home out of spite.



Only 48 of the 197 presidential nominations to agencies has been confirmed under the Trump administration, and only two of the president's 23 judicial nominations have been confirmed. Only 10 percent of Trump's confirmations have been allowed by voice vote in the Senate, compared to more than 90 percent of former President Barack Obama's nominations by voice vote at this point in 2009.

"This week, the Senate has scheduled a few confirmation votes. Yet, as even the Washington Post has reported, the Senate is conducting the slowest confirmation process in American history. For the past six months, Senator Schumer has deliberately run an unprecedented campaign of obstruction against the president's nominees for high-ranking positions in the government," Short said at an off-camera White House gaggle.

"Not only are key national security, energy, financial, and regulatory positions left unfilled, procedural slowdowns have kept the Senate committees from doing other legislative work. Democrats even walked out of committee hearings to deny quorum like school children taking their toys from the playground, but it's the American people who are being hurt," Short added.

"These obstruction tactics are carried out in the name of resisting the Trump administration and playing to a radical left wing base, but it the will of the American people that is being denied," he said.

"We currently have seven deputy secretaries -- to manage entire federal departments -- who have been cleared by committee and are waiting for a vote on the Senate floor," Short said.

"Folks, it’s July 10th, and we do not have deputy secretaries at the Small Business Administration, the Department of Interior, the Department of Energy, HUD, HHS, OMB, and the Department of Defense. Senate committees have cleared 32 of our nominees who are still waiting for a floor vote," Short said.

There are a total of 133 nominees waiting for consideration by various committees, Short noted.

"To date, the Senate has confirmed a total of 50 Trump administration nominees. To put that in perspective, the Senate had confirmed 202 officials at this same point in the Obama administration.  We think that that is a fair analogy, because Republicans now control the Senate. Democrats controlled the Senate at that point, and the comparison is 50 to 202," Short said.

"By the August recess in 2009, the Senate had confirmed 292 Obama administration nominees by voice vote alone. To date, the Trump administration nominees have received five voice vote confirmations," he said.

Short accused Democrats of "putting their agenda ahead of the will of the American people."

"The truth is the Democrats are putting their agenda ahead of the will of the American people. Democrats are keeping key agency nominees from serving their country.  And today, we're calling on Senator Chuck Schumer to stop blocking the will of the American people for political gain, and we're also calling on you in the media to help shine light to bring this problem to light of day," Short said.

"The Senate will likely devote this entire week to approving just three well-qualified nominees. We ask: Give these critical nominees an up or down vote so they can get to work," Short added.

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