‘Obscene’ GOP Blockade Stalls Dozens Of Biden Nominees

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The procrastination strategy has frustrated Democrats and strengthened supporters’ case for reforming Senate rules.

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Washington Republicans have barred dozens of President Joe Biden’s candidates from being confirmed in multiple departments, including those charged with putting criminals behind bars, supporting small businesses and maintaining national security.

The procedural tactic has frustrated Democrats and given supporters of institutional reform even more ammo on why the rules need to be changed.

“We have to change something. It’s just another way for Republicans to shut down the Senate,” told Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), an attorney for eliminating Filbuster.

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Republicans can’t really stop all of Biden’s candidates from being confirmed. But they can use current Senate rules to significantly slow down their appointments, dragging down the process of filling typically non-controversial jobs in lower-level positions in the federal government.

With the GOP refusing to accelerate several of Biden’s nominees, placing so-called “holds” on them at the committee level, Democrats would have to meet multiple votes to confirm each one, the other spent on legislative business. Eating up valuable floor time that could be going on.

Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said, “Republicans have taken advantage of every twist and turn in the rules to prevent people from going into jobs so they can do the work that needs to be done.” “It’s obscene.”

Tom Cotton’s partisan blockade of federal prosecutors

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) has vowed to block speedy confirmations of U.S. attorney candidates from states represented by Democratic senators.
Tom Williams via Getty Images

Something very rare happened in the Senate this week: It cast a roll call vote on the US attorney’s nominee. Such nominees are usually confirmed by voice vote. The Senate last held a roll call vote in 1975 to confirm the candidate for an American attorney.

Biden’s choice to serve as the next US attorney for Massachusetts, Rachel Rollins, would become the first black woman to hold the position if confirmed. Tom Cotton (R-Ark) was forced to discharge his nomination from the committee on Thursday in a 50-47 vote after Sen. He has accused Rollins, who is known as a progressive prosecutor, of being soft on the crime.

But Rollins isn’t the only prosecutor Cotton has sought to block. Arkansas conservatives, who once held onto Barack Obama’s nominee until his death, have vowed to block every US attorney candidate Biden nominated from states with Democratic senators.

Ed Markey (D-Mass.) said Thursday, “What we’ve heard from our Republican colleagues — in committee hearings and here on the floor — is simply untrue.” “Suffolk County DA Rachel Rollins is a strong black woman committed to racial justice, who has a better record than other old-school prosecutors on the crime, and it just intimidates her.”

Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley wage war on the Pentagon, State Department

Sens Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley have tag-teamed to prevent Biden from filling many of his national security positions.
Sens Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley have tag-teamed to prevent Biden from filling many of his national security positions.
Olivier Doliari via Getty Images

Republican Sens. Ted Cruz (Texas) and Josh Hawley (Missouri), two potential 2024 presidential candidates, have caught up on dozens of Biden’s candidates at the State Department and the Pentagon, including their pick for the next US ambassador to NATO and ambassador nominees. Huh. For Israel, France, India and other countries.

Cruz says his blockade is in retaliation for the Biden administration abandoning US opposition to the construction of a Russian gas pipeline in Germany, called Nord Stream 2. He wants the White House to impose restrictions to prevent the use of the pipeline, much of which has already been completed,

“There is still time to stop Nord Stream 2 from coming online,” Cruz said in a statement last week. “If President Biden enacts the law and imposes mandatory sanctions on Nord Stream 2 AG – the company responsible for planning, building and operating the pipeline – it would send a signal that the US is serious about halting further progress on Nord Stream 2. “

Meanwhile, Hawley has doubts about the Biden administration’s withdrawal from Afghanistan. He, too, has blocked the appointment of dozens of non-controversial foreign policy nominees, which are usually confirmed by unanimous consent.

Democrats called Republicans’ strategy unprecedented and accused them of endangering national security by keeping key positions in the State Department and the Pentagon vacant.

“It is compromising the security of the country. Republicans think they can hurt President Biden by creating global chaos,” Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.). “We didn’t act this way when Donald Trump was president. The rules that are in place today are not working – they are working for the benefit of minorities, they are not working for the benefit of the country.”

GOP Boycotts Top Small Business Administration Positions

Republicans have refused to give Dilawar Syed a committee vote, boycotting his confirmation hearings on five separate occasions.
Republicans have refused to give Dilawar Syed a committee vote, boycotting his confirmation hearings on five separate occasions.
via The Associated Press

No one waited longer than Dilawar Syed.

Biden named Syed on March 3 as deputy administrator of the Small Business Administration — the number 2 job at the agency, meaning he’s been in limbo longer than any other Biden nominee.

No one disputes Syed’s qualifications. Born in Pakistan, Syed is a successful businessman who has ventured into public service roles at both the California and federal level.

Yet Republicans refused to give him a committee vote. He has now boycotted the Small Business Committee hearing five occasions, depriving the Democrats of the quorum they need to proceed.

“It’s just beyond yellow. Beyond edge. It’s such an abuse,” said Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), who chairs the Small Business Committee.

GOP senators admitted they were holding him up on something that had nothing to do with him—loans given to Planned Parenthood aides under the previous administration that they want to repeal—but they did not allow him because of his Muslim faith. The question of loyalty has also been raised.

However, Syed enjoys widespread support from the business community, civil rights groups and religious organizations, which have condemned the GOP blockade.

Democrats see no immediate solution to the boycott.

“We are considering every option. I’m not sure if the rules change in the 50-50 Senate. I can’t think of a rule change that would work in this case,” Cardin said on Thursday.

Biden making progress on judicial nominees despite delay

Republicans have also forced to delve into some of Biden’s court picks, though they may not keep these candidates for long.

GOP members of the Judiciary Committee have unanimously voted against dropping many of Biden’s judicial challenges from the committee. This resulted in a tie vote for these nominees, meaning they were stuck on the committee until Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (dn.) prolonged the process.

But Republicans can’t bar the judicial candidate. And once a court candidate is up for a floor vote, Democrats benefit from a rule change that Republicans enforced when holding a majority: A district court candidate gets only two hours of debate. time required, versus the 30 hours that were previously required. Republicans substantially changed that rule in April 2019.

District court nominees make up the vast majority of judicial candidates running through the Senate, so Republicans can’t do much to ultimately prevent the president from moving forward in filling court vacancies.

To date, Biden has made judicial nominations a top priority and judges are being confirmed. faster than decades of previous presidents,


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