How soon they forget!
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has been slow-walking the confirmation of Donald Trump’s cabinet. Yet in 2013 the same Sen. Schumer justified Harry Reid’s elimination of the filibuster for presidential appointments (except the Supreme Court) by saying, ”Just about everyone in America, Democrat, Republican, liberal, conservative, believe that once you elect a president he deserves his choices to run the executive branch.”
Perhaps the reason Schumer said, “just about everybody,” instead of simply “everybody,” is that he doesn’t stand by his own words. Or maybe he simply wanted the Senate to have the opportunity to tell Elizabeth Warren to shut up and sit down as they did last night. (Many people would pay to see that, but here’s a free video of it for your viewing pleasure.)
But back to the Senate confirmation of nominees. With yesterday’s confirmation of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education, just five of Trump’s 15 nominees have been confirmed.
At the same point of time in their own presidencies:
- President Obama had 12 of 15 Cabinet officials confirmed (7 on Day 1)
- President Bush #43 had 14 of 14 Cabinet officials confirmed (7 on Day 1)
- President Clinton had 13 of 14 Cabinet officials confirmed (13 by Day 2)
- President Bush #41 had 9 of 14 Cabinet officials confirmed
- President Reagan had 12 of 13 Cabinet officials confirmed (12 by Day 3)
- President Carter had 11 of 11 Cabinet officials confirmed (8 on Day 1, the rest by the end of Week 1)
- President Nixon had 12 of 12 Cabinet official confirmed (11 on Day 1)
- President Kennedy had 10 of 10 Cabinet official confirmed (10 on Day 2)
- President Eisenhower had 9 of 10 Cabinet officials confirmed (8 on Day 2, He didn’t name his HEW until April)
- Every incoming president from James Garfield in 1881 to Franklin D. Roosevelt 1933 had all of their Cabinet official confirmed on Day 1.
This is the longest it has taken a Senate to confirm a majority of the President’s cabinet after he was inaugurated since George Washington set up the government of the United States in 1789.
If there were some sort of recognition for placing obstacles in front of a presidency by not allowing a new administration to have a cabinet to run the various departments of the executive branch, Schumer would be in the Hall of Fame. But the Schumer of 2013 would criticize the Schumer of 2017. Just look at what he said back then:
The majority leader has just announced he’s moving forward with a group of nominees to give the president the team he deserves to fight for the middle class. Just about everyone in America, Democrat, Republican, liberal, conservative, believe that once you elect a president he deserves his choices to run the executive branch. But a new tactic has been introduced try to paralyze the executive branch the way they paralyze the legislative branches because they really don’t want the government to function. [Emphasis added]
The highlighted portion describes exactly what Schumer is doing as we speak.
Cross-posted at The Lid