White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus called out New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer and Senate Democrats for holding up “one nominee after the next” to fill President Donald Trump’s cabinet positions.
“Chuck Schumer and the Democrats have done something that even many Democrats and even Democrat leading pundits have said is inexcusable, which is to hold up one nominee after the next to fill secretary positions,” Priebus lamented Sunday to Chuck Todd on NBC’s Meet the Press.
Todd asked Priebus why it was taking so long for the Trump administration to fill political appointments, something Priebus pushed back against.
“Look, even on David Shulkin who passed 100 to zero in the Senate, Schumer still took up to 30 hours of debate,” Priebus explained, asserting that Democrats are slowing down the nomination confirmation process.
“We’re behind, but because of historical unbelievable obstruction from U.S. senators that are acting inappropriately,” Priebus said in an unusual admission that the Trump White House is behind on political appointments.
Many federal government jobs remain unfilled, and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said April 11 that some of those positions would remain unfilled as a part of the president’s promise to “drain the swamp.”
Priebus highlighted examples of nominees that were nominated in December, but not confirmed until months later. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross was chosen in November, but not confirmed until February.
Priebus also said that the delay also pushed back the security clearance process. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was nominated in December, but wasn’t confirmed until February. His chosen staff would not go through the clearance process until after Tillerson’s confirmation, Priebus asserted.
Priebus defended Trump’s first 100 days, saying that “he is fulfilling his promises and doing it at breakneck speed.”
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