McConnell: Democrats’ Historic Obstruction
‘…Democrat obstruction has reached such extreme levels that the smallest number of Cabinet officials have been confirmed in modern history at this point in a presidency. It’s a historic break in tradition, a departure from how newly-elected presidents of both parties have been treated in decades past.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor on Democrat obstruction of President Trump’s Cabinet and the importance of confirming Betsy DeVos to be the next Education Secretary:
“Just before the election, the Democratic Leader said he believed the Senate has a ‘moral obligation, even beyond the economy and politics, to avoid gridlock…’ Put simply, he said, ‘We have to get things done.’
“And yet, just a few months later, Democrat obstruction has reached such extreme levels that the smallest number of Cabinet officials have been confirmed in modern history at this point in a presidency. It’s a historic break in tradition, a departure from how newly-elected presidents of both parties have been treated in decades past.
“In fact, by this same point into their terms, other recent presidents from both sides of the aisle had more than twice as many Cabinet officials confirmed as President Trump does now. President Obama had 12 Cabinet officials confirmed at this point in his term. President George W. Bush had all 14 Cabinet nominees confirmed. President Clinton had 13. President Trump has a mere 4.
“Well, Mr. President, it seems this gridlock and opposition has far less to do with the nominees actually before us than the man who nominated them. Just like we’re seeing with President Trump’s outstanding Supreme Court pick.
“The Democratic Leader and his colleagues are under a great deal of pressure from those on the Left who simply cannot accept the results of a democratic election. They’re calling for Democrats to delay and punt and blockade the serious work of the Senate at any cost. They would like nothing more than for Democrats to continue to ‘resist’ and prevent this President from moving our country forward.
“Unfortunately, many of our friends across the aisle have given in to these groups’ calls for obstruction. And some have even gone to unprecedented lengths to delay for delay’s sake. They’ve forced meaningless procedural hurdles, they’ve stalled confirmation votes as long as possible, they’ve postponed hearings, and they’ve even boycotted committee meetings altogether. Their excuses are ever-changing and some border on the absurd. We don’t like the seating arrangement, they say. We can’t be late to a protest, they argue. There was even some excuse about a YouTube video.
“Look, enough is enough. The American people elected a new President in November. Democrats don’t have to like that decision, but they do have a responsibility to our country. The American people want us to bring the nation together and move forward. It’s far past time to put the election behind us and put this President’s Cabinet into place – just as previous Senates have done for previous newly-elected Presidents of both parties.
“The nominee for Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos, is a well-qualified candidate who’s earned the support of 20 governors and several education groups from across the nation. As Education Secretary, she will be our students’ foremost advocate, working to improve our education system so that every child has a brighter future. Importantly, she also understands that our teachers, students, parents, school boards, and local and state governments are best suited to make education decisions — not Washington bureaucrats.
“I have every confidence that Ms. DeVos will lead the Department of Education in such a way that will put our students’ interests first while also strengthening the educational opportunities available to all of America’s children. I urge colleagues to join in confirming Ms. DeVos, so that she can begin the very important work before her without further delay.”
Related Issues: Nominations, Supreme Court, Judicial Nominations