The President Deserves His Cabinet
‘We are no longer in the midst of a contentious presidential election. We have a new president, and that president has now put forth an exceptional Supreme Court nominee and a number of well-qualified Cabinet nominees. And yet, more than two weeks into his term, President Trump has the fewest Cabinet secretaries confirmed at this point than any other incoming president since George Washington.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding Senate Democrats’ unprecedented delay of the president’s Cabinet:
“’Now is the time to put country before party.’ That was an observation by the Democratic Leader just yesterday here on the Senate floor. Our friend from New York makes a good point, and I’m hopeful that it’s a principle his own caucus will follow in the days to come. We are no longer in the midst of a contentious presidential election. We have a new president, and that president has now put forth an exceptional Supreme Court nominee and a number of well-qualified Cabinet nominees.
“And yet, more than two weeks into his term, President Trump has the fewest Cabinet secretaries confirmed at this point than any other incoming president since George Washington. The President deserves to have his Cabinet in place. The American people deserve that too. I would remind our Democrat colleagues of the things they themselves have said when the shoe was on the other foot.
“Here’s what their last vice presidential candidate, our colleague from Virginia, had to say: ‘I think we owe deference to a president for choices to executive positions.’ So yes, ‘now is the time,’ as the Democratic Leader said, ‘to put country before party.’
“One way to do so is by ending the unprecedented delay we’ve seen by Democrats on the President’s Cabinet nominees. Our colleagues will have an opportunity to chart a different path later this afternoon and the rest of this week as we vote to confirm more nominees. This afternoon, we’ll vote on the President’s nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. I look forward to confirming her to this important position so that she can get to work on behalf of America’s students and schools.
“As I said yesterday, this well-qualified candidate has earned the support of several education groups and nearly two dozen governors from across the nation. She understands that teachers, students, parents, school boards, and state and local governments — not Washington bureaucrats — are best suited to make education decisions for our kids, and I know she’s committed to improving our education system so that every child has a brighter future
“After we confirm Ms. DeVos, the Senate will turn to another well-qualified Cabinet nominee and our own colleague, Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama. We all know Senator Sessions to be a man of his word. We know he’s a man who believes in the rule of law. We know him as someone who is willing to work with anyone, regardless of party — like when he teamed up on legislation with Democratic colleagues like Senator Durbin and the our late colleague, Ted Kennedy.
“I would remind Democratic colleagues that Republicans did not filibuster when a newly elected President Obama put forward his own Attorney General nominee, Eric Holder. In fact, the nominee before us crossed the aisle to vote for Mr. Holder. This, despite the fact that the Holder nomination in our party, in the Republican Conference here in the Senate, was one steeped in considerable controversy.
“What a contrast with the way Democrats are now treating our colleague’s nomination now. They’re looking to waste even more time for its own sake today. It’s been unfortunate to hear the attacks that some on the Far Left have directed at our friend over the past few weeks. But I’m pleased the American people have had the opportunity to learn the truth about Senator Sessions and to see for themselves how qualified he is to lead the Justice Department
“We can expect that Senator Sessions, in his new role, will continue fighting to protect the rights and freedoms of all Americans as he also defends the safety and security of our nation. Tomorrow, I’ll have more to say about Senator Sessions and the impact he’s had on each of us here. But for now, I’d encourage colleagues to finally come together and show him — and each of these remaining Cabinet nominees — the fair consideration that they deserve.”
Related Issues: Senate Democrats, Nominations, Education