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Democrat Hypocrisy On Cabinet Confirmations

- January 8, 2017

Democrats Engage In Reckless, Partisan Tactics To Delay President-Elect Trump's Nominees


TOP TAKEAWAYS

  • This week, President-elect Trump's nominees for cabinet posts will begin confirmation hearings with committees of jurisdiction in the U.S. Senate.
  • In true partisan fashion, Democrat senators have launched a campaign to delay confirming President-elect Trump's cabinet nominees.
  • But just eight years ago, Democrats, led by minority leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), were demanding swift confirmations of Obama's nominees - despite acknowledging serious concerns.
  • And their demands were met, as Republicans confirmed seven Obama nominees the day he was inaugurated, another five within his first week in office, while 13 were confirmed via voice vote without any recorded opposition.
  • And Schumer, who is now demanding unprecedented disclosure and delays, has spent a career voting for nominees from both parties without making such frivolous and partisan demands on 42 separate occasions.

DEMOCRATS HAVE LAUNCHED A CAMPAIGN TO DELAY CONFIRMING PRESIDENT-ELECT TRUMP'S NOMINEES

The Hill Headline: "Schumer: Dems Will Slow Trump Cabinet Confirmation Hearings" (Mallory Shelbourne, "Schumer: Dems Will Slow Trump Cabinet Confirmation Hearings," The Hill , 1/1/17)

Democrats Committed To Slow-Walking Trump's Nominees And Asked For Two Days Of Hearings For Select Cabinet Nominees And To Hold The Confirmation Hearings Of Just Two Nominees A Week. "But Schumer has told McConnell that he wants at least two days of hearings for each of these eight nominees, including at least one panel made up of witnesses that can speak to the pick's past record, aides said. At each hearing, members of the committee would get at least 10 minutes to ask questions, with no limits on multiple rounds of questioning, if requested. Democrats also want hearings for each of these eight nominees to be held on separate weeks, with no more than two Cabinet picks sitting for a hearing in the same week." (Ed O'Keefe, "Here Are The Eight Trump Cabinet Picks Democrats Plan To Target," The Washington Post , 1/1/17)

The Plan Is "An Unprecedented Break With Senate Tradition." "Democratic senators plan to aggressively target eight of Donald Trump's Cabinet nominees in the coming weeks and are pushing to stretch their confirmation votes into March - an unprecedented break with Senate tradition." (Ed O'Keefe, "Here Are The Eight Trump Cabinet Picks Democrats Plan To Target," The Washington Post , 1/1/17)

While Democrats Try To Avoid The "Obstructionist Label," They Don't Want Confirmation Votes Until March

"Democrats Are Hoping To Avoid The Obstructionist Label…" "Democrats are hoping to avoid the obstructionist label by picking their fights carefully." (Burgess Everett and Elana Schor, "Democrats To Give Trump Cabinet Picks The Garland Treatment," Politico , 12/5/16)

Democrat Senators Have Admitted They Are Trying To Push The Confirmation Votes Into March. "Democratic senators plan to aggressively target eight of Donald Trump's Cabinet nominees in the coming weeks and are pushing to stretch their confirmation votes into March - an unprecedented break with Senate tradition." (Ed O'Keefe, "Here Are The Eight Trump Cabinet Picks Democrats Plan To Target," The Washington Post , 1/1/17)

IN 2009, LEADING DEMOCRATS DEMANDED AND RECEIVED QUICK CONFIRMATIONS FOR OBAMA NOMINEES

Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) Urged The Senate To Confirm Obama's Nominees "Quickly So That They, Along With Our New President, Can Hit The Ground Running." "'In the coming days, weeks and months, we will work with President Obama to revive our economy, protect homeowners and consumers, bring our country closer to energy independence, strengthen our national security, and improve access to health care and education for all Americans. 'These challenges require a President with a full arsenal of tools and experts. President Obama has nominated a cabinet of exceptionally bright and capable people. They represent a cross-section of our country, geographically and politically. It is up to us, Democrats and Republicans in the Senate, to confirm these worthy nominees quickly so that they, along with our new President, can hit the ground running.'" ("Reid Statement On Confirmation Of Cabinet Officers," Senate Democratic Communications , 1/20/09)

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) Said That He Hoped Secretary Of Treasury Nominee Timothy Geithner Could Be Confirmed "As Quickly As Possible." "Tim came to the committee, admitted he had made some mistakes, and was very contrite. In my opinion, these mistakes were not at all disqualifying. I continue to strongly support his nomination and given the tough economic conditions, hope we can confirm him as quickly as possible." (Press Release, "Schumer Statement On Geithner Nomination To Be Secretary Of The Treasury," Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), 1/13/09)

Senator John Kerry (D-MA) Encouraged His Colleagues To "Put Aside Valid Concerns And Vote Of A Swift Confirmation" For Hillary Clinton. "Senator John Kerry (D - Mass.), Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, today went to the Senate floor to call on his colleagues to confirm Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State by a vote this afternoon. Below is his statement as prepared for delivery:…'I hope my colleagues will join me in appreciating the larger importance of this moment and put aside valid concerns and vote of a swift confirmation that allows President Obama and his Secretary of State to confront the multiple crises and challenges that will be the measure of our achievement in the years ahead.'" ("Kerry Calls For Swift Senate Confirmation Of Secretary Of State Designate Hillary Clinton," Office Of Senator John Kerry, 1/21/09)

Senate Finance Chair Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) Said It Was Important For The Committee "Move Expeditiously" To Confirm Timothy Geithner, Saying "I Make No Apology In My Efforts To Try To Help This Administration Get Its Economic Team Up And Running." SEN. MAX BAUCUS (D-MT): "Thank you, Senator. I might say that I make no apology in my efforts to try to help this administration get its economic team up and running in these very difficult and troubling times, and that is why I think it is important that the committee move expeditiously." ("Nomination Of Timothy F. Geitherner To Be Secretary Of The Treasury," Senate Committee On Finance , 1/21/09)

Click To Watch

At Attorney General Nominee Eric Holder's Confirmation Hearing, Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) Said He Hoped Holder Could Have "A Prompt Confirmation" Because "It Is Important That The Justice Department Have Its Senior Leadership In Place Without Delay." SEN. PATRICK LEAHY (D-VT): "And I would hope that we would have a prompt confirmation so he can restore morale and purpose throughout the Justice Department. It is important that the Justice Department have its senior leadership in place without delay. The Attorney General is the top law enforcement officer in the country; he is a key member of the national security team. We have seen billions of dollars devoted to bailouts in the last few months. We need to ensure that those resources are not diverted by fraud or deceit. We need the Justice Department to be at its best." ("Nomination Of Eric H. Holder, Jr., Nominee To Be Attorney General Of The United States," Senate Committee On The Judiciary , 1/15/09)

Click To Watch

  • In A Press Release In Early January, Leahy Said There Was A "Need" To "Have The New Leadership Team At The Department Up And Running Without Delay." "'Just as Senators on both sides of the aisle moved quickly in the last Congress to confirm nominees for the top positions at the Justice Department that were emptied by scandals, the Judiciary Committee will move forward promptly with confirmation proceedings for these nominees, beginning with Mr. Holder's hearing on January 15. 'The need to have the new leadership team at the Department up and running without delay could not be greater in light of the Department's vital missions and the unprecedented politicization that has weakened morale throughout the Department and dealt a blow to the country's confidence in the nation's top law enforcement agency. The new Attorney General, the Department, and the nation will be well-served by this leadership team.'" ("Reaction Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Announcement Of Justice Department Designees," Sen. Patrick Leahy , 1/5/09)

Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) Praised The Precedent Of Holding A Confirmation Hearings Prior To The President's Inauguration In Order To "Allow An Administration To Get Up And Moving As Quickly As Possible." SEN. CHRIS DODD (D-CT): "Today, we are considering the nomination of Mr. Shaun Donovan, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Housing, Preservation, and Development, to become the Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Let me point out that we are extending to Mr. Donovan this morning the same courtesy we showed to our colleague, Senator Mel Martinez, my good friend from Florida, for whom the Committee under Chairman Senator Sarbanes also held a nomination hearing for the job of Secretary of HUD prior to the President actually taking office, and I don't think a bad precedent to be setting given certainly the issues we are facing today, but also to allow an administration to get up and moving as quickly as possible." (Hearing, "Nomination Of Shaun Donovan, Of New York, To Be Secretary Of The Department Of Housing And Urban Development," Senate Committee On Banking, Housing, And Urban Affairs , 1/13/09)

In 2009, Many Of Obama's Cabinet Nominees Were Confirmed In Just A Matter Of Days

Republicans Were Deferential To Obama And Confirmed Many Of His Nominees Quickly. "Eight years ago, when the roles were reversed, with Barack Obama taking office and an all-Democratic Congress, Republicans were mostly deferential to the incoming president. On Obama's first day in office, the Senate confirmed seven of Obama's Cabinet nominees. By the end of that week, it had cleared more than a dozen senior-level positions, all without dissent except for Hillary Clinton's nomination to be secretary of state, for which the GOP demanded a roll call." (Burgess Everett and Elana Schor, "Democrats To Give Trump Cabinet Picks The Garland Treatment," Politico , 12/5/16)

On Inauguration Day 2009, Seven Cabinet Nominees Were Confirmed. "On Obama's first day in office, the Senate confirmed seven of Obama's Cabinet nominees." (Burgess Everett and Elana Schor, "Democrats To Give Trump Cabinet Picks The Garland Treatment," Politico , 12/5/16)

The Senate Confirmed Another Five Nominees By The End Of The First Week Of Obama's Presidency. "Seven nominees were confirmed on Inauguration Day 2009, when Democrats ran the Senate and Republicans were in the minority. Five other Obama nominees were confirmed by the end of his first week in office." (S.A. Miller, "Contentious Confirmation Hearings Loom In Senate," The Washington Times , 1/4/17)

Thirteen Of Obama's Nominees Were Confirmed By Voice Vote. "Mr. McConnell has noted that 13 of the nominees for Mr. Obama's first Cabinet were approved on a voice vote, a reflection of the lack of resistance from the opposition party." (S.A. Miller, "Contentious Confirmation Hearings Loom In Senate," The Washington Times , 1/4/17)

AND CHUCK SCHUMER'S CAMPAIGN OF OBSTRUCTION IS SO UNPRECEDENTED, HE NEVER MADE SIMILAR DEMANDS OF NOMINEES OVER THE PAST 18 YEARS

Schumer's Obstruction Includes Asking More Nominees To Release Their Tax Returns Despite Current Law Limiting What Nominees Must Do So

Schumer's Unprecedented Obstruction Stunt Includes Calls For More Of Trump's Nominees To Turn Over Their Tax Returns. "Incoming Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) called Wednesday for more of President-elect Donald Trump's Cabinet picks to turn over their tax returns." (Naomi Jagoda, "Schumer Calls For Trump Cabinet Paicks To Turn Over Tax Returns," The Hill , 12/28/16)

Schumer, Who Is Leading The Obstruction, Voted To Confirm Cabinet And Cabinet Level Nominees 42 Times, Including Republican Nominees

Since 1999, Schumer Has Voted To Confirm 42 Cabinet-Level Nominees - Including 12 Nominees From A Republican President - Without Unprecedented Demands For Disclosure Or Months-Long Delays. ( Richard Holbrooke Confirmation Vote , Roll Call Vote #259, Approved 81-16; R 37-16; D 44-0, 8/5/99, Schumer Voted Yea; Lawrence Summers Confirmation Vote , Roll Call Vote #195, Approved 97-2; R 53-2; D 44-0, 7/1/99, Schumer Voted Yea; Mitchell Daniels Confirmation , Roll Call Vote #1, Approved 100-0; R 50-0; D 50-0, 1/23/01, Schumer Voted Yea; Anthony Principi Confirmation , Roll Call Vote #2, Approved 100-0; R 50-0; D 50-0, 1/23/01, Schumer Voted Yea; Melquiades Martinez Confirmation , Roll Call Vote #3, Approved 100-0; R 50-0; D 50-0, 1/23/01, Schumer Voted Yea; Tommy Thompson Confirmation , Roll Call Vote #4, Approved 100-0; R 50-0; D 50-0, 1/24/01, Schumer Voted Yea; Norman Mineta Confirmation , Roll Call Vote #5, Approved 100-0; R 50-0; D 50-0, 1/24/01, Schumer Voted Yea; Christine Todd Whitman Confirmation , Roll Call Vote #7, Approved 99-0; R 50-0; D 49-0, 1/30/01, Schumer Voted Yea; Robert Zoellick Confirmation , Roll Call Vote #9, Approved 98-0; R 50-0; D 48-0, 2/6/01, Schumer Voted Yea; Thomas Ridge Confirmation , Roll Call Vote #13, Approved 94-0; R 51-0; D 42-0; I 1-0, 1/22/03, Schumer Voted Yea; Condoleezza Rice Confirmation , Roll Call Vote #2, Approved 85-13; R 53-0; D 31-13; I 0-1, 1/26/05, Schumer Voted Yea; Michael Chertoff Confirmation, Roll Call Vote #10, Approved 98-0; R 54-0; D 43-0: I 1-0, 2/15/05,Schumer Voted Yea; Robert Gates Confirmation , Roll Call Vote #272, Approved 95-2; R 52-2; D 42-0; I 1-0, 12/6/06, Schumer Voted Yea; Michael Mukasey Confirmation , Roll Call Vote #407, Approved 53-0; R 46-0; D 6-39; I 1-1, 11/8/07, Schumer Voted Yea; Hillary Clinton Confirmation, Roll Call #6, Approved 94-2; R 39-2; D 53-0; I 2-0, 1/21/09, Schumer Voted Yea; Timothy Geithner Confirmation, Roll Call Vote #15, Approved 60-34; R 10-30; D 49-3; I 1-1, 1/26/09, Schumer Voted Yea; Eric Holder Confirmation , Roll Call #32, Approved 75-21, R 19-21; D 54-0; I 2-0, 2/2/09, Schumer Voted Yea; Hilda Solis Confirmation , Roll Call Vote #66, Approved 80-17; R 24-17; D 54-0; I 2-0, 2/24/09, Schumer Voted Yea; Ron Kirk Confirmation , Roll Call Vote #100, Approved 92-5; R 38-3; D 53-1; I 1-1, 3/18/09, Schumer Voted Yea; Kathleen Sebelius Confirmation , Roll Call Vote #172, Approved 65-31; R 9-31; D 54-0; I 2-0, 4/28/09, Schumer Voted Yea; Leon Panetta Confirmation, Roll Call Vote #93, Approved 100-0; R 47-0; D 51-0; I 2-0, 6/21/11, Schumer Voted Yea; John Bryson Confirmation , Roll Call Vote #176, Approved 74-26; R 21-26; D 51-0; I 2-0, 10/20/11, Schumer Voted Yea; John Kerry Confirmation , Roll Call Vote #5, Approved 94-3; R 41-3; D 51-0; I 2-0, 1/29/13, Schumer Voted Yea; Charles Hagel Confirmation , Roll Call Vote #24, Approved 58-41; R 4-41; D 52-0; I 2-0, 2/26/13, Schumer Voted Yea; Jacob Lew Confirmation , Roll Call Vote #25, Approved 71-26; R 19-25; D 51-0; I 1-1, 2/27/13, Schumer Voted Yea; Sarah Jewell Confirmation , Roll Call Vote #94, Approved 87-11; R 34-11; D 51-0; I 2-0, 4/10/13, Schumer Voted Yea; Sylvia Burwell Confirmation , Roll Call Vote #109, Approved 96-0; R 44-0; D 50-0; I 2-0; 4/24/13, Schumer Voted Yea; Ernest Moniz Confirmation , Roll Call Vote #127, Approved 97-0; R 42-0; D 53-0; I 2-0, 5/16/13, Schumer Voted Yea; Michael Froman Confirmation , Roll Call Vote #158, Approved 93-4; R 43-0; D 49-3; I 1-1, 6/19/13, Schumer Voted Yea; Penny Pritzker Confirmation , Roll Call Vote #161, Approved 97-1; R 44-0; D 52-0; I 1-1, 6/25/13, Schumer Voted Yea; Anthony Foxx Confirmation , Roll Call Vote #165, Approved 100-0; R 46-0; D 52-0; I 2-0, 6/27/13, Schumer Voted Yea; Thomas Perez Confirmation , Roll Call Vote #178, Approved 54-46; R 46-0; D 52-0; I 2-0, 7/18/13, Schumer Voted Yea; Regina McCarthy Confirmation , Roll Call Vote #180, Approved 59-40; R 6-39; D 51-1; I 2-0, 7/18/13, Schumer Voted Yea; Samantha Power Confirmation , Roll Call Vote #200, Approved 87-10; R 34-10; D 51-0; I 2-0, 8/1/13, Schumer Voted Yea; Jeh Johnson Confirmation , Roll Call Vote #276, Approved 78-16; R 24-16; D 52-0; I 2-0, 12/16/13, Schumer Voted Yea; Sylvia Burwell Confirmation , Roll Call Vote #175, Approved 78-17; R 25-17; D 51-0; I 2-0, 6/51/14, Schumer Voted Yea; Julian Castro Confirmation , Roll Call Vote #219, Approved 71-26; R 19-26; D 50-0; I 2-0, 7/9/14, Schumer Voted Yea; Shaun Donovan Confirmation , Roll Call Vote #221, Approved 75-22; R 24-22; D 49-0; I 2-0, 7/10/14, Schumer Voted Yea; Robert McDonald Confirmation, Roll Call Vote #243, Approved 97-0; R 44-0; D 51-0; I 2-0, 7/29/14, Schumer Voted Yea; Ashton Carter Confirmation , Roll Call Vote #56, Approved 93-5; R 46-5; D 45-0; I 2-0, 2/12/15, Schumer Voted Yea; Loretta Lynch Confirmation, Roll Call Vote #165, Approved 56-43; R 9-43; D 45-0; I 2-0, 4/23/15, Schumer Voted Yea; John King Confirmation , Roll Call Vote #36, Approved 49-40; R 5-39; D 43-1; I 1-0, 3/14/16, Schumer Voted Yea)


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