White House slams Senate Democrats for obstruction on Trump nominees

White House said that Democrats have shown that they are willing to break irresponsibly with tradition that allows a president to choose its own appointees in a timely fashion.

Published: 11th July 2017 11:17 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th July 2017 11:17 AM   |  A+A-

The White House is seen in Washington. (File|AP)


WASHINGTON: The White House has hit out Democratic senators for delaying crucial appointments by delaying confirmation of the Trump administration's nominations for high-ranking posts in the government.

It said the Democrats have shown that they are willing to break irresponsibly with tradition that allows a president to choose its own appointees in a timely fashion.

"The Senate is conducting the slowest confirmation process in the American history. For the past six months, (Senate Minority Leader Chuck) Schumer has deliberately run an unprecedented campaign of obstruction against the president's nominees for high-ranking positions in the government," White House Legislative Affairs Director Marc Short told reporters at a news conference yesterday.

"Not only are the key national security, energy, financial, and regulatory positions left unfilled, procedural slowdowns have kept the senate committees from doing other legislative work,” he said.

The Democrats even walked out of committee hearings to deny a quorum, like school children taking their toys from the playground, Short alleged.

He said the delays are hurting the American people and these obstruction tactics are carried out in the name of resisting the Trump administration and playing to a radical left-wing base.

"But it's the will of the American people that is being denied...As war rages in the Middle East, the senate hasn't confirmed many national security appointees. In fact, the president's nominee for under Secretary of Defence Elaine McCusker enjoyed bipartisan support as she advanced through committee. But she has now been waiting since May 23rd for a vote on the Senate floor," the White House official said.

Further hitting out at the Democrats in the Senate, Short said they have delayed crucial appointments made by President Trump in an attempt to obstruct the will of the American people and the president's agenda.

"Of the 197 presidential nominations to agencies, the senate has only confirmed 48," he said.

"Only 2 of President Trump's 23 judicial nominations have actually been confirmed by the Senate. Democrats in the Senate have shown they are willing to break irresponsibly with tradition that allows a President to choose his own appointees in a timely fashion,” he added.

With less than a month remaining in the August recess, the Senate has confirmed only 23 percent of President Trump's 216 nominations, the White House alleged.

By the first August recess during President Obama's first term, the Senate had confirmed 69 percent of his 454 nominations.

"In an effort to prevent President Trump from following through on the policies for which the American people voted, Senate democrats are putting his nominations through timeconsuming parliamentary procedures not seen by the previous Administration,” it said.

Alleging that democratic senators have allowed only 10 percent of Trump's confirmations to happen by voice vote, while more than 90 percent of Obama's were confirmed by a simple voice vote in 2009, the White House said in just a few months the Democrats have delayed the nominations by going through the burdensome cloture process 30 times.

By the first August recess of his administration, Obama only had 8 cloture votes on his nominations, it said.

The blatant obstruction of Trump's nominations threatens key aspects of the government including national security by leaving positions vacant, it added.

Among the top positions lying vacant are of the deputy secretary of defence, principal deputy under secretary of defence and assistant secretary of defence.

The Department of Justice has only three of Trump's 19 nominations confirmed.

Positions waiting confirmation include of the solicitor general and assistant attorney general.

"Trump has nominated qualified individuals to key positions, but their confirmations have been delayed by obstructionism in the Senate," Short said.

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