If Dems insist on 30 hours of debate, make them stay in Washington
Senate Democrats continue to obstruct President Trump’s well-qualified nominees by abusing Senate rules to block political appointees from taking their posts. Senator James Lankford is reaching out to Democrats to change a rule that allows 30 hours of Senate debate for every presidential nominee and put an end to their childish games.
Oklahoma Republican James Lankford is reaching out to Democrats to change a rule that allows 30 hours of Senate debate for every presidential nominee. Liberals are abusing that privilege, invoking it even for nominees with broad bipartisan support. The Senate is sitting on 78 nominees who have already been vetted and passed out of committee but can’t get a floor vote.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders last week said 43% of Mr. Trump’s nominees await confirmation, and there have been 102 fewer confirmations so far than in even the slowest recent Administration.
Enter Mr. Lankford, who is working to reduce the 30 hours of debate on executive-branch nominees (excluding cabinet secretaries) to eight. This was the standard in 2013-2014 after Republicans then in the minority agreed to a request from Majority Leader Harry Reid, but that deal lapsed with the last Congress.
Mr. Lankford needs 60 votes to change the rule for the remainder of this Congress; he’d need 67 for a permanent rule change. Mr. Schumer and his progressive wing will balk, but Mr. Lankford is talking to Democrats who profess to care about national security, as well as those up for re-election in Trump states.
It’s worth adding that Senate Republicans have been far too accepting of this Democratic stall. They’ve been griping about it for a year to little effect. If Democrats want to insist on 30 hours of debate, then make them stay in Washington on Mondays, Fridays and even weekends to clear the nomination list. And make them work over recess too.
We are sick and tired of the obstruction of presidential nominees and too many vacations with too little work. The Senate should delay August recess until sufficient progress has been made in confirming President Trump’s nominees!