More Well-Qualified Nominees Confirmed with Bipartisan Support in Senate
‘[W]e’ll also vote on two Kentuckians: Robert King and John Pallasch. Mr. King has been nominated to serve as Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education… And Mr. Pallasch has been tapped for Assistant Secretary of Labor… So I’ll be proud to support each of these well-qualified nominees — as their senior senator from Kentucky, but moreover, as someone who believes that the American people’s president deserves to have his team in place…’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks on the Senate floor regarding the need to confirm more of the president’s well-qualified nominees:
“All week, the Senate has continued our productivity in overcoming partisan opposition and confirming the president’s well-qualified nominees for important offices. We’ve confirmed the newest judge on the Ninth Circuit. And yesterday we confirmed three district judges by overwhelming bipartisan margins: 78 to 15… 80 to 14… and 85 to 10.
“Clearly, we are not exactly talking about radioactive, controversial nominees here. Not when 78 votes for confirmation is the low end. But nevertheless, as has become typical over the past two and a half years, our Democratic colleagues insisted on cloture votes to cut off debate before we could confirm any of them. In fact we have yet to voice-vote a single judicial nominee this entire Congress.
“It’s a shame. It’s not the precedent the Senate ought to be setting for these lower-tier nominations. But of course we’ve confirmed them nonetheless. Before the end of this week, the Senate will have done the same for three other lower-level nominees to the executive branch. Weeks like this were impossible before my Republican colleagues and I did the right thing for this institution a few months back and moved the Senate back toward our historical norms for nominations.
“We argued that Senate Democrats were mindlessly obstructing even the least-controversial nominees just for obstruction’s sake. Our colleagues across the aisle insisted, no, the majority would be ramming through extreme individuals and cutting off the intense debate they deserved. Who was right? Well, one more time for good measure: 78 to 15… 80 to 14… and 85 to 10. Enough said.
“It’s particularly ironic that some of my friends across the aisle elect to complain that the Senate is spending too much time on nominations. I’m not making this up— we actually hear protestations from the Democratic side that confirming these men and women is taking too long. As though it weren’t totally obvious to everyone that their own unprecedented delaying tactics are the only reason that nominees like these have not been quickly confirmed in big batches by voice vote.
“It’s quite the two-step: Democrats systematically drag their heels for two and a half years and counting. And then complain we aren’t moving fast enough. Well, if it weren’t clear by now, the tactics won’t work. The Senate will press on and do our job. Today, we’ll press on, despite 492 days of obstruction, and confirm Peter Wright, the president’s nominee to serve as an Assistant Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
“And, as it happens, we’ll also vote on two Kentuckians: Robert King and John Pallasch. Mr. King has been nominated to serve as Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education. He comes with an impressive record of experience in higher education administration and advocacy, at home in the Bluegrass and beyond. And Mr. Pallasch has been tapped for Assistant Secretary of Labor. His resume includes service as Director of the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training as well as previous service with the Department as deputy assistant secretary for mine safety and health.
“So I’ll be proud to support each of these well-qualified nominees — as their senior senator from Kentucky, but moreover, as someone who believes that the American people’s president deserves to have his team in place, and that citizens ought to be governed by the government they voted for.”
Related Issues: Nominations, Senate Democrats