Senate Democrats Causing Slowest Cabinet Confirmation Process in Modern History

‘It’s left several key departments without a permanent secretary at the helm for far too long. And what’s the point other than needless delay? Our friends are slow-walking votes, not changing outcomes.’

“Over the past several weeks we’ve seen unprecedented obstruction from our colleagues across the aisle.  It’s made the confirmation of this president’s nominees the slowest in modern history. It’s left several key departments without a permanent secretary at the helm for far too long. 

“And what’s the point other than needless delay? Our friends are slow-walking votes, not changing outcomes.  Well, we took several important steps last night to move the nominations process forward.

“First, we confirmed Steven Mnuchin as Treasury Secretary.  After eight years of failing economic policies, stagnant growth, and a tough job market, it’s clear we need a new direction to get our country back on track. 

“We need a new direction on regulations — smarter and pro-growth. We need a new direction on taxes — simpler and pro-jobs. And, if we’re going to accomplish either of those goals, we’re going to need new leadership at the helm of the Treasury Department.  Secretary Mnuchin has real-world understanding of the private-sector, and he’s ready to work with both sides to get the economy moving.

“Second, we confirmed Dr. David Shulkin as Secretary of Veterans Affairs.  The debt we owe our servicemembers and their families extends far beyond any program or benefit that the government can provide. 

“But through the VA, we should be doing everything we can to fulfill our commitments to veterans and their families — like the more than 300,000 veterans who call Kentucky home.  Secretary Shulkin will be tasked with overseeing that our veterans in Kentucky and across the nation receive quality and timely care.  This is a heavy burden, but he seems up to the task. 

“The Chairman of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Senator Isakson, has a well-deserved reputation for working tirelessly on behalf of our veterans, which makes it notable that his committee voted unanimously to recommend Dr. Shulkin to the full Senate.  The full Senate just confirmed him unanimously too.  I’m confident that Secretary Shulkin will work with Congress to build on the progress we’ve already made in expanding accessibility and improving accountability at the VA.

“Third, I took the necessary procedural steps last night to allow us to confirm the rest of the nominees on the calendar.

“Like Rep. Mick Mulvaney — nominee for Director of the Office of Management and Budget — who can help get our nation back on track fiscally.

“Scott Pruitt — nominee for Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency — who can bring much-needed change after eight years of heavy-handed, job-killing regulations.

“Wilbur Ross — nominee for Commerce Secretary — who can help promote job creation and economic growth.

“Rep. Ryan Zinke — nominee for Interior Secretary — who can help improve our nation’s land use and conservation policies.

“Dr. Ben Carson — nominee for Housing and Urban Development Secretary — who can help reform HUD to better serve the American people.

“And Gov. Rick Perry — nominee for Energy Secretary — who can help guide us toward smarter energy policies that grow our economy and strengthen national security.

“Beginning with Rep. Mulvaney, we can get each of these nominees confirmed soon.  With cooperation from across the aisle, we can put them to work for the American people even sooner.  We’ll be able to put another important nominee to work just this morning — one who understands how to help businesses flourish. 

“The last eight years have been very difficult for our economy, for workers, and for small businesses. I’m confident that the president’s pick to lead the Small Business Administration, Linda McMahon, will prioritize growing jobs over growing government bureaucracy. In so many states, including mine, that’s a welcome change of pace from Washington.

“Small businesses help drive America’s economy and they help drive Kentucky’s economy as well. Almost half of all the private sector jobs in Kentucky — about 700,000 — come from the more than 340,000 small businesses across the commonwealth. These small businesses not only grow the economy, they also serve important roles in our communities.

“Mrs. McMahon, who built a company from the ground up, understands the many challenges small businesses can face. She’s certainly come a long way from sharing a desk with her husband and leasing a typewriter. I commend her for her willingness to serve her country and look forward to confirming her later this morning.”

Related Issues: Senate Democrats, Nominations