WSJ Editorial: “Running the Schumer Blockade”
“Democrats aren’t using cloture to raise the level of debate or highlight unqualified nominees. They are using it—and have said as much—to sabotage a Presidency. That isn’t what the Founders intended, and Republicans have every right to stop this abuse of process to let the President form a government.”
Running the Schumer Blockade
Wall Street Journal
July 11, 2017
The Trump Presidency is well into its seventh month but the Trump Administration still barely exists. Senate Democrats are abusing Senate rules to undermine the executive branch, and Republicans need to restore normal order.
Among the non-controversial nominees awaiting confirmation: Kevin Hassett to lead the White House Council of Economic Advisers; David Malpass, under secretary at Treasury for international affairs; two nominees needed to review pipelines and other projects at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; and Noel Francisco for Solicitor General. Mr. Malpass was nominated in March and voted out of committee in mid-June. Mr. Trump’s State Department is barely functioning with only eight confirmed appointees.
Democratic obstruction against nominees is nearly total, most notably including a demand for cloture filings for every nominee—no matter how minor the position. This means a two-day waiting period and then another 30 hours of debate. The 30-hour rule means Mr. Trump might not be able to fill all of those 400 positions in four years. The cloture rule also allows the minority to halt other business during the 30-hour debate period, which helps slow the GOP policy and oversight agenda.
Democrats have also refused to return a single “blue slip” to the Judiciary Committee, which has the effect of blocking consideration of judicial nominees from their home states. Senators like Minnesota’s Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar are holding hostage the eminently qualified Minnesota Supreme Court Justice David Stras for the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals for no reason other than politics.
Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s troops are even invoking an obscure rule that prohibits committees from doing business more than two hours after the Senate opens for the day. Republicans have had to cancel briefings on national security and Russia electoral interference, as well as scrap a markup of two human-trafficking bills.
Democrats aren’t using cloture to raise the level of debate or highlight unqualified nominees. They are using it—and have said as much—to sabotage a Presidency. That isn’t what the Founders intended, and Republicans have every right to stop this abuse of process to let the President form a government.