The editors of the Wall Street Journal urge Senate Republicans to keep Democrats in Washington, D.C. until every pending Trump administration nominee is confirmed. They have a point.
Democrats have succeeded to a shocking (and unprecedented) degree in preventing the president from staffing his administration with the well-qualified personnel of his choice. Eric Dreiband and Jeff Clark are perhaps the two best examples of this pattern of obstruction but, at the same time, are the tip of the iceberg.
As the WSJ editors state:
Democrats file cloture on every nominee, which kicks off 30 hours of debate even if no Senator is opposed. They figure if they can’t defeat nominees they can delay and consume valuable time. Democrats have forced 117 cloture votes—versus 12 in Barack Obama’s first two years and four in George W. Bush’s.
Mitch McConnell is in a position now to break the logjam. Vulnerable Democratic Senators are eager to get home and campaign. McConnell has the ability to keep them in Washington so they can do the work — voting on presidential nominees — they should have been doing the past year and a half.
The question this month is whether Senate Democrats will accept a deal to confirm more judges and nominees. . .Let’s hope Republicans extract a high price for that privilege: Some 198 nominations are backed up awaiting confirmation, according to the Partnership for Public Service tracking.
The nominations range from State Department under secretaries to Labor Department spots. Charles Stimson was nominated in June 2017 to be general counsel of the Navy, which needs urgent legal direction to deal with the fallout from recent ship accidents, as well as lawsuits against bases in Guam and Maine. Democrats have also blocked Justin Muzinich for the No. 2 post at Treasury since his nomination in April. Treasury could use the former banker who has taught at Columbia Business School to shore up its financial-crisis management. Three appellate court and some 36 district court nominations are also awaiting a Senate floor vote.
McConnell should drive a hard bargain, and I believe he will. The Kavanaugh fight surely left a bitter taste in his mouth and those of his caucus members. Confirming a large number of Trump nominees would be condign punishment. It’s also the right thing to do.
There’s also this:
Republicans need to muscle through as many nominees as possible now because if Democrats run Congress next year they’ll be busy impeaching people, not confirming them.