WASHINGTON — The White House sent another 12 nominations to the Senate for confirmation Tuesday, but the slow rate the of confirmations caused by procedural motions by Democrats will take the executive branch over 11 years to fill the posts, Republicans claim.
According to the most recent edition of the “U.S. Government Policy and Supporting Positions,” commonly known as the PLUM Book, there are 1242 appointments that require Senate confirmation and since July 11, 2017, 49 Trump nominees of those jobs have been confirmed by the upper chamber. Of those 49, 30 required cloture votes, so 1,193 posts await to be filled.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s Office said in a statement Tuesday, “In the 173 days since January 20, 2017, the Senate has confirmed 49 PAS [Positions Subject to Presidential Appointment with Senate Confirmation] nominations, or one every 3.5 days. At a similar rate of 3.5 days per nominee it would take 11.4 years (4,175 days) to fill the remaining 1193 PAS positions listed in the Plum Book.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer pointed the finger at the White House for the slow pace of confirming nominees saying on the chamber floor Tuesday.
“This President has nominated fewer nominees than anyone else, and so many of these – 7 of the major nominees and to withdraw their nominations — many more were brought here to the Senate without the necessary documentation, the paperwork, the ethics reports, the FBI reports, and the chaos in the White House is now spreading to the Republican Senate,” he said.
Schumer added, “So again, our President seems to when his administration make a mess they blame somebody else, let’s not do that here, let’s not do that here. Again, the number of nominees that this President has submitted is lower than any President in recent memory.”
Sen. Schumer made the same claim about the slow confirmation process of Trump cabinet nominees because of incomplete paperwork. However, Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn told TheDC the majority of the then-unconfirmed cabinet members had their paper-work completed and turned in already. Furthermore, TheDC learned that even after some nominees turned in requested paperwork, Democrats demanded additional paperwork to be filled out.
Schumer’s rhetoric about agency appointments was much different when President Obama was making picks and his party held the majority in the chamber. At a press conference in November 2013 Schumer stated, “Who in America doesn’t think a president, Democrat or Republican, deserves his or her picks for who should run the agencies? Nobody.”
The slowdown in the Senate, which Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blamed on Democrats for the two-week delay in the August recess, appears to be no coincidence.
A senior communications staffer of former Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, Adam Jentleson, who now works at the Center for American Progress pledged to carefully examine at least 900 Trump appointees and “slow walk” Republican efforts in Congress and create plan for a new “economic narrative” that will appeal to Democrats, Buzzfeed reported last March.