Senate Continues Work to Confirm Well-Qualified Nominees
‘While I’m pleased that the Senate is working to fill these important positions, it’s been disappointing to see so much pointless obstruction by our friends across the aisle. They’ve continuously forced procedural hurdles on nominees for no reason other than to stall confirmations, launching more filibusters against this president’s Cabinet than any other in history.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding the Senate’s action on executive nominees:
“Last week, we confirmed two well-qualified nominees — Jeffrey Rosen as Deputy Secretary of Transportation and Rachel Brand as Associate Attorney General — and today we’ll have an opportunity to confirm another excellent nominee, Gov. Terry Branstad as the U.S. Ambassador to China.
“While I’m pleased that the Senate is working to fill these important positions, it’s been disappointing to see so much pointless obstruction by our friends across the aisle. They’ve continuously forced procedural hurdles on nominees for no reason other than to stall confirmations, launching more filibusters against this president’s Cabinet than any other in history. And they’ve done so not to change a result, but simply to eat up floor time that could be used for legislation to help our constituents.
“Take the cloture vote they forced last week on the Branstad nomination. The Senate voted overwhelmingly, 86-12, on that motion proving once again that our Democratic colleagues’ tactics really have little to do with the nominees themselves, they’re just delaying for delay’s sake. It’s past time to stop the games. Once confirmed as Ambassador to China, Gov. Branstad will be tasked with a portfolio that is important not only for our diplomatic relationship with China but also for our trade policies with the country. He has earned the support of Senators on both sides of the aisle and was reported out of the Foreign Relations Committee by voice vote.
“Having served as the Governor of Iowa for more than two decades, Branstad has developed a strong understanding of agriculture, trade, and other key national interests. His experience on these issues will guide him as he works to strengthen our relationship with China and pursue trade policies that can benefit American workers and businesses. I look forward to confirming him as our nation’s next Ambassador to China so that he can get started on the important task before him.
“After we confirm Governor Branstad, we’ll vote to advance another well-qualified nominee to serve as our nation’s Deputy Secretary of State, John J. Sullivan. It’s both a critical and challenging role, but Mr. Sullivan’s extensive background has prepared him for the task ahead. Through the years, he’s worked at the Defense Department and Justice Department, and he also served as the Deputy Secretary of Commerce. I am confident that his experience will serve him well as he works as a key advisor to Secretary Tillerson and helps lead our nation in addressing the range of security challenges we face. I look forward to confirming him soon.
“Having these key officials in place at the State Department is of great importance as they work with the administration on shaping our foreign policy and strengthening our posture in the international community. As we know, the president is currently traveling on his first international trip as our Commander-in-Chief. The trip provides the president with an important opportunity to engage with key allies, discuss our shared interests, and continue conversations on issues where we can work together in the future. We wish the president and the First Lady both a successful trip and safe travel as they return to the United States later this week.”
Related Issues: Nominations