Cornyn: Rule Change Will Help Break Mindless Democrat Obstruction on Non-Controversial Nominees


In: All News   Posted 02/27/2019
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‘The floor is being occupied by nominations that are uncontroversial, and we're unable to get to other important work that the American people want us to do.’

‘This is part of a concerted effort to undermine the Trump Administration to deny them the appointees necessary for them to conduct the nation's business, and in many instances, these are ambassadors who should be representing the United States of America in foreign countries where it's important that we maintain good communication with those other countries.’

‘The political theater is being orchestrated by Senate Democrats and is impacting our ability to carry out our constitutional duty of advice and consent. I believe this is a necessary step to get the Senate back on track.’

WASHINGTON – Today on the floor, U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) discussed the Democrats’ delay tactics and the proposed rule change to speed up the process of cloture votes on certain low-level, non-controversial nominations. Excerpts of Sen. Cornyn’s floor remarks are below, and video can be found here.

“This is an abuse of the Senate rules to do nothing but to obstruct and to slow down President Trump's well-qualified nominees for important positions. This is not about their qualifications. This is not about exercising the constitutional responsibility of advice and consent. In virtually every instance in which the clock has been burned to get to an eventual vote, these largely noncontroversial nominees have been confirmed overwhelmingly. Call it part of the ‘Trump Derangement Syndrome’ or the ‘Never Trump’ effort.”

“This treatment has grabbed headlines, but the story that doesn't get much attention is what I want to talk about now, this practice of eating up time on the floor, using every second of the rules to essentially eliminate the possibility we can take up other bipartisan legislation or consider these nominees on any sort of efficient and effective basis.”

“The floor is being occupied by nominations that are uncontroversial, and we're unable to get to other important work that the American people want us to do.”

“This is part of a concerted effort to undermine the Trump Administration to deny them the appointees necessary for them to conduct the nation's business, and in many instances, these are ambassadors who should be representing the United States of America in foreign countries where it's important that we maintain good communication with those other countries.”

“Over the last two years, our colleagues on the other side of the aisle have forced votes on nominees which in previous years would have sailed through the Senate.”

“Nearly half received the support of 60 or more senators during the cloture vote and more than a third got 70-plus votes. The delay and obstruction has led to a long list of vacancies, as I said, across every department and agency. Critical leadership positions have gone unfulfilled while the nominees awaited confirmation vote before the Senate.”

“That's why the rules change that we are contemplating is so important. It would expedite the process for many nominees to receive a vote on the floor. It won't change the number of votes they need to get confirmed. You still need to get a majority of votes or tilt the scale in their favor in any way. It will simply make sure that we're not wasting time that's not being used in order to delay or defeat nominations.”

“We've been told by our Senate colleagues on the other side that if we were to pass a rule limiting the post-cloture time to two hours and we would start it in 2021, at the end of President Trump's current term of office, they would vote for it.  So this is really an unprincipled and nakedly partisan approach, because while they're willing to do it for the next president – and it could well be a second Trump term, it could well be another president – they won't do it now which demonstrates the hypocrisy that they are exhibiting here.”

“I would point out that this rule change does not apply to all nominees. High-level cabinet positions and Supreme Court justices would still receive the 30 hours of debate time after 51 senators have voted to proceed to that vote.”

“It's important to note that this type of rules change isn't new. Actually, in 2013 there was a negotiated bipartisan standing rule when Majority Leader Harry Reid and the current Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer, introduced a similar change to speed up the process, and this simply builds on the foundation that they laid then. So if we ask them to do now what was done then on a bipartisan basis, their answer is no, for no good reason other than it's President Trump who presumably would benefit from this restoration of that same process.”

“The political theater is being orchestrated by Senate Democrats and is impacting our ability to carry out our constitutional duty of advice and consent. I believe this is a necessary step to get the Senate back on track, and I will support this rule change when it comes to the floor for a vote and would encourage all of my colleagues to do the same.”