Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has finally displayed a sense of urgency in getting President Trump’s nominees confirmed. Earlier this week, he warned Senate Democrats that, if necessary, he would force senators to remain in session on Friday and possibly during the weekend to confirm a slate of six Trump nominees. The slate includes a nominee for a seat on the National Labor Relations Board, for the number two job at the Department of Labor, for a key post at the Environmental Protection Agency, and two nominees for district court judgeships.
McConnell’s new found aggression seems to be working. Today, the Senate confirmed Pat Pizella as Deputy Secretary of Labor. Pizella, a good pick, prevailed via the traditional Trump-era landslide vote — 50-48.
McConnell needs to use the same tactic, or stronger ones, to break the logjam on nominees the Democrats have created. At the Justice Department, for example, most top positions remain unfilled.
This is anti-Trump resistance, pure and simple. The Democrats don’t want the president to populate his administration. They want to maximize the degree to which left-wing bureaucrats maintain control over policy throughout the government. Ideally from their perspective, key nominees would still be languishing when the year ends and, quite possibly, the Democrats take control of the Senate.
The Dems’ tactics are unprecedented, certainly in degree, but their desire to obstruct and resist is understandable. Less understandable is McConnell’s unwillingness, until now, to counter them.
Perhaps this week marks the end of that unwillingness.