Trump Faces Most Obstructionist Senate Confirmation Process

Kerry Picket Political Reporter
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The Washington Post and Pew Research Center show the Senate confirmation process for the Trump administration is the most obstructionist in recent history, saying that the average time from an appointee’s nomination to his or her confirmation is 41 days.

The Trump White House has declared 117 nominees so far for the 559 posts that require a Senate confirmation vote. The posts include cabinet secretaries, ambassadors and other leadership jobs. Overall, about 1,200 positions require Senate confirmation.

“Less than five months into Trump’s tenure, 25 of his executive and judicial nominees have been the subjects of votes on cloture – the Senate term for limiting debate and moving a bill, nominee or other issue to a final up-or-down vote. That’s more than have occurred during the entire term of all but one Congress since 1949, when the Senate first allowed cloture to be moved on nominations, and Trump has yet to nominate people to fill hundreds of other executive-branch jobs,” the Pew Research Center reported last week.

Pew adds, “The exception mentioned above – the 113th Congress of 2013-14, which held a record 150 cloture votes on nominations by newly re-elected President Barack Obama – illuminates how the politics of presidential nominations have changed dramatically in the past few decades.”

Trump aide Kellyanne Conway told New York Conservative Party members last week that liberals in Washington would rather see hundreds of administration posts unfilled than a Trump appointee in those jobs.

“The political left believes one of the greatest accomplishments for them so far — and they haven’t had many — is the lack of confirmable appointees already in place. And they believe that no appointee is better than a Trump appointee. So, for lots of reasons, that included, we need to get staffed up,” she said.

Conway went on to say, “There are a couple of things going on now. The people who — I’m told a handful of exceptions still that could be asked to leave have left. … It’s these commissions, it’s these commissioners, it’s these appointments that span the presidencies, and there’s nothing we can do until the commission fires [them]. In addition, we’ve also been held up by the Office of Government Ethics.”

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