‘Liberal Base Apoplectic … Demanding Opposition At Any Cost’

‘The Fight Over Trump's Cabinet Is Notable (If Not Unique) For Political Reasons: Mainly, That It's So Damn Politicized’

“Voters from the liberal base apoplectic over Trump's presidency are demanding opposition at any cost.” (“Democrats In A Vise Over Trump's Supreme Court Pick,” AP, 2/2/17)

“Democrats' only option to oppose Trump and his conservative Cabinet is to delay the inevitable. This week, it's clear that's exactly what they've decided to do. They've asked some nominees back for more questions. They've requested second hearings. They've even refused to vote on some of them.” (“Two Weeks In, Donald Trump Has The Smallest Confirmed Cabinet In Decades,” Washington Post, 2/2/17)

Dems’ Quixotic Attempt To Stall Nearly All Cabinet Nominations Has Caused Delays…

“Trump’s Confirmations Really Are Taking Longer Than His Predecessors” (The Washington Post, 2/1/17)

  • “On his first day in office, President Jimmy Carter had eight of his Cabinet nominees confirmed. Within two days of his inauguration, Ronald Reagan had 12 of his nominees in place. Within 24 hours after his inauguration, Bill Clinton had 13 in place. Even President George W. Bush, whose transition period was swept up in a dramatic Supreme Court decision about his election, had seven of his nominees confirmed on Jan. 20, and four more in four days. President Obama — as Republicans are pointing out — had seven in place by the time he and Michelle Obama had their first dance.” (“Two Weeks In, Donald Trump Has The Smallest Confirmed Cabinet In Decades,” Washington Post, 2/2/17)

“Democrats, pushed by their base, are under pressure to not cooperate with the new president—on anything.” (“Donald Trump, Democrats Dig In For Fight,” Wall Street Journal, 2/1/17)

  • “The progressive Donald Trump doomsday clock is still at a minute to midnight even as the President-elect has named a string of mainstream cabinet nominees, and Senate Democrats are signaling that they plan to fight nearly all of them. They’re even calling themselves ‘the resistance,’ which does accurately capture the combination of melodrama and failure to accept the election defeat.” (Editorial, “'The Resistance’ Vs. Trump’s Cabinet,” The Wall Street Journal, 12/23/16)

By day 14, only four members of President Trump’s cabinet have been confirmed.  By the same point in time other recent presidents have had more than twice as many confirmed:

  • President Barack Obama had           12 of 15 Cabinet officials confirmed
  • President George W. Bush had         14 of 14 Cabinet officials confirmed
  • President Bill Clinton had                 13 of 14 Cabinet officials confirmed
  • President George H. W. Bush had     9 of 14 Cabinet officials confirmed
  • President Ronald Reagan had           12 of 13 Cabinet officials confirmed

(“Barack H. Obama Cabinet Nominations,” U.S. Senate Website, Accessed 11/14/2016; “George W. Bush Cabinet Nominations,” U.S. Senate Website, Accessed 1/06/2017; “Presidential Cabinet Nominations,” U.S. Senate Website, 3/17/2016; “Filling Advice And Consent Positions At The Outset Of A New Administration,” CRS Report R40119, 4/01/2010; Congress.Gov)

PREVIOUSLY: “Up until the '70s, it was pretty normal to confirm everyone in big batches without a ton of vetting, [Former official U.S. Senate Historian Donald] Ritchie said. The conventional wisdom was that a president should get deference to pick his team and that the new administration should be able to start running the government as soon as possible.” (“Is The Senate GOP Really Setting A New Speed Record On Presidential Nominations?” The Washington Post, 1/9/17)

…But This Week ‘Trump Cabinet Picks Advance As Republicans Outmuscle Democrats’

“Senate Republicans used the muscle of their majority on Wednesday … to overcome what they called stall tactics by Democrats.” (“Trump Cabinet Picks Advance as Republicans Outmuscle Democrats,” The New York Times, 2/1/17)

  • “Democrats are spending the opening weeks of the Trump administration trying to flex their muscle any way they can -- boycotting confirmation hearings… But as Democrats throw every procedural hurdle they can think of at Trump, they're facing a bleak reality: they have virtually no power in Washington.” (“Democrats Face Their Powerlessness,” CNN, 2/2/17)

Sessions, Pruitt, Mnuchin, & Price Nominations All Advance

“Republicans also took a step toward the confirmation of Senator Jeff Sessions, Mr. Trump’s choice for attorney general. A divided Senate Judiciary Committee approved his nomination on Wednesday, despite fierce pushback from Democrats…” (“Trump Cabinet Picks Advance as Republicans Outmuscle Democrats,” The New York Times, 2/1/17)

“Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Republicans on Wednesday voted despite a Democratic boycott to approve Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt's nomination to lead the EPA. Republicans did so after suspending rules requiring at least two Democrats to be present for a vote, as Democrats sought to block Pruitt’s confirmation...” (“Senate Environment Approves Pruitt For EPA As Democrats Boycott,” CQ Roll Call, 2/1/17)

“Earlier Wednesday, the Senate Finance Committee also suspended rules in the face of a Democratic boycott to advance the nominations of President Donald Trump's Treasury pick Steven Mnuchin and Rep. Tom Price for Health and Human Services secretary.” (“Senate Environment Approves Pruitt For EPA As Democrats Boycott,” CQ Roll Call, 2/1/17)

  • Tuesday: “In an unusual step, Democrats boycotted planned Senate Finance Committee votes on Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., to become health secretary and financier Steven Mnuchin to head the Treasury Department. … ‘They ought to stop posturing and acting like idiots,’ said committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah. ‘Are they that bitter about Donald Trump? The answer has to be yes.’” (“Democrats Force Delays In Votes On 3 Cabinet Nominees,” Washington Post, 1/31/17)
  • Monday: “Democrats asked to postpone a Senate Finance Committee vote on Treasury nominee Steven Mnuchin this afternoon so they could attend a candlelight vigil… Democrats asked to postpone a Senate Finance Committee vote on Treasury nominee Steven Mnuchin this afternoon so they could attend a candlelight vigil in response to President Donald Trump's travel restrictions, a spokeswoman for ranking member Ron Wyden said. ‘This delay will allow members to protest the president… while voting on Mr. Mnuchin’s nomination little more than 12 hours later,’ spokeswoman Rachel McCleery said.” (“Democrats Say Trump Travel Ban Vigil Behind Mnuchin Delay,” Politico Pro, 1/30/17)

Examples Of Ridiculous Dem ‘Stall Tactics’

Steve Mnuchin Nomination For Secretary Of The Treasury

 ‘Democrats Asked To Postpone A Senate Finance Committee Vote’ For 12 Hours ‘To Protest The President’

Today “U.S. Senate Democrats on Tuesday boycotted a planned committee vote on two of President Donald Trump's Cabinet nominees, Steve Mnuchin to be Treasury secretary and Tom Price to head the Health and Human Services department, delaying the vote.” (“Senate Democrats Boycott, Delay Committee Vote On Mnuchin, Price,” Reuters, 1/31/17)

Betsy DeVos Nomination For Secretary Of Education

HELP ‘Hearing … In The Afternoon’ Moved To Accommodate Senators Schedules, Criticized Anyway

“The HELP committee was previously scheduled to take up DeVos's nomination last week, but Alexander and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) announced they had postponed it at the request of leadership and because of a packed Senate schedule.” (“Dems Demand Second Hearing For Trump's Education Nominee,” The Hill, 1/17/17)

  • SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): “Ms. DeVos' hearing was at 5 o'clock in the afternoon, in an blatant attempt to prevent more Americans from watching the hearing and the news coverage of it.” (Sen. Schumer, Press Conference, 1/18/17)

‘Her Hearing … We Sent Out Just A Video Of A Couple Of The Questions, 15 Million People Have Seen It … These Issues And Others Deserve To Be Thoroughly And Rigorously Reviewed By The Senate’

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): “Betsy DeVos we sent out just a video of a couple of the questions, 15 million people have seen it, and if you go look on the social media… These issues and others deserve to be thoroughly and rigorously reviewed by the Senate.” (Sen. Schumer, Press Conference, 1/19/27)

Ryan Zinke For Secretary Of The Interior

Cantwell Delays Hearing Over EPA Website Changes

“On Monday, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, chairwoman of the committee, and Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., the ranking Democrat on the committee, announced the postponement of a Tuesday business meeting until further notice. A vote on Zinke’s confirmation was scheduled. A vote also was planned on Rick Perry of Texas as energy secretary.” (“Delay In Zinke Confirmation Vote Tied To Perry, Miscommunication,” Great Falls Tribune, 1/24/17)


Related Issues: Health Care, Energy, Nominations, Senate Democrats, Education