After Democrat Obstruction, Modest Reform Has Nominations Process Back on Track
‘What was once a routine matter for acclamation becomes a party-line vote. Just because this president is the one who nominated him. Fortunately, at the end of the day, the outcome is the same. Judge Joseph Bianco, along with a slate of other well-qualified nominees, is now on the job. And Republicans will continue our work to give the American people the government they chose -- the government they deserve.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made the following remarks on the Senate floor regarding the need to confirm more of the president’s well-qualified nominees:
“The Senate has continued to make significant progress in the personnel business. After two years of systematic heel-dragging from our friends across the aisle, even on the least controversial nominations, the modest reform the Senate adopted last month is helping us get back on track.
“Another slate of capable nominees are now on their way to work for the American people. They’re precisely the same sort of unobjectionable, sub-cabinet nominees who until very recently would’ve been subjected to 30 hours of ‘debate.’ They would’ve tied up the floor for days before being confirmed anyway. So they are perfect examples of why the Senate returned to our long-standing norms for processing lower-level nominations. And now the American people are getting the government they elected at a more reasonable pace.
“To be clear, the silly partisan games haven’t all been cleared away from our work on nominations. Just yesterday, we confirmed Judge Joseph Bianco to serve on the Second Circuit by a relatively close vote of 54-42. Remember, for a judge, in the scope of Senate history, that counts as a close shave. So are we looking at a controversial person? Are we looking at an individual that Senators agonized over and painstakingly studied? Judge Bianco brings a unanimous ‘well-qualified’ rating from the ABA. He’s already served as a judge for 13 years in the Eastern District of New York.
“Oh, and by the way, he was confirmed to that position by voice vote. In fact, back then in 2005, one of Mr. Bianco’s most vocal supporters here in the Senate was none other than my friend the Democratic Leader. Here’s how he praised his fellow New Yorker to the Judiciary Committee in 2005. ‘I am proud to support someone as outstandingly qualified and well-respected as Mr. Bianco.’
“‘Outstandingly qualified and well-respected.’ Well, that was then and this is now. The nominee is the same. Well, actually, he’s not quite the same, because how he’s been a very highly-regarded district judge for 13 years. So the nominee is even better. But the occupant of the White House is different. And in this political moment, as we know, my Democratic colleagues’ commitment to the ‘outrage industrial complex’ seems to crowd out reasonable judgment.
“So now, this week, the Democratic Leader lumped the same individual he used to champion into what he described as a group of, quote, ‘hard-right nominees.’ And then the Democratic Leader and almost every other member of his conference proceeded to vote against him. Voted against the same nominee he had praised in such generous terms. I can only conclude that, now, the ‘outrage industrial complex’ comes first. Not the facts; not the nominee’s qualifications. The ‘outrage industrial complex’ comes first.
“So now, the individual whom the Democratic Leader used to champion, and who passed by a voice vote in 2005, now receives this partisan treatment. What was once a routine matter for acclamation becomes a party-line vote. Just because this president is the one who nominated him. Fortunately, at the end of the day, the outcome is the same. Judge Joseph Bianco, along with a slate of other well-qualified nominees, is now on the job. And Republicans will continue our work to give the American people the government they chose -- the government they deserve.”
Related Issues: Nominations, Senate Democrats, Judicial Nominations