Senate panel cancels votes on two dozen Trump court picks amid Flake standoff

Senate panel cancels votes on two dozen Trump court picks amid Flake standoff
(Images: Trump; video screen grab. Flake; Wikipedia)

[Ed. – Flake can’t leave soon enough.]

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) announced Wednesday that he is canceling votes on nearly two dozen of President Trump’s judicial nominees that were expected to come up in the Judiciary Committee this week.

The cancellation of the committee’s Thursday business meeting comes as Senate Republicans are in a standoff with outgoing Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who has vowed to oppose all court picks until he gets a vote on legislation protecting special counsel Robert Mueller.

The notification from the Judiciary Committee didn’t specify when, or if, the committee votes on the nominations would be rescheduled. Six circuit court nominees had been expected to get a vote, as well as 15 district court nominees.

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But Grassley warned late Wednesday afternoon that he would likely cancel the meeting unless he could get a deal with Flake that would allow the nominations to move forward.

“We haven’t canceled the meeting yet,” Grassley said roughly an hour before the announcement. “If we don’t get a positive out of it, we’ll probably cancel the meeting.”

Republicans hold a 51-49 majority in the Senate, allowing them to move Trump’s nominees despite Flake as long as the remaining 50 Republican senators remain united.

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