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Senate Democrats: Trump’s Cabinet Picks Are About To Get A Dose Of The ‘Garland Treatment’


Senate Democrats: Trump’s Cabinet Picks Are About To Get A Dose Of The ‘Garland Treatment’

For almost a year, GOP senators have refused to schedule Merrick Garland –President Barack Obama’s final Supreme Court nominee– for a vote to fill the seat of deceased justice Antonin Scalia. Now, Senate Democrats Senate Democrats who are outraged at Republicans for refusing to even consider a vote up or down, are preparing to put Donald Trump’s Cabinet picks through the same confirmation process, vowing to give them ‘the Garland treatment.’

But it’s not just about exacting revenge. Democrats argue that some of the president-elect’s more controversial Cabinet picks — such as Jeff Sessions for attorney general and Steven Mnuchin for treasury secretary — demand a thorough public airing.

“They’ve been rewarded for stealing a Supreme Court justice. We’re going to help them confirm their nominees, many of whom are disqualified?” fumed Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio). “It’s not obstruction, it’s not partisan, it’s just a duty to find out what they’d do in these jobs.”

“What comes around goes around,” Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein said, suggesting payback for Republicans stonewalling on President Obama’s final Supreme Court nominee

Any individual senator can force Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to hold procedural votes on nominees. Senior Democrats said a series of such votes are likely for many of Trump’s picks.

Connecticut Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal said senators should demand roll-call votes ‘on every one of the president’s Cabinet nominees.’

That would give Democrats the option of abstaining – even as a group – in order to paint Trump’s cabinet confirmations as products of unilateral partisan voting.

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said Trump should be able to assemble his team. But that doesn’t mean Democrats will “rubber stamp all of the president-elect’s picks,” he said.

“I’m not going to vote for radical nominees, and I’m not going to vote for totally unprepared nominees,” Murphy said in an interview. “But if a nominee is more to the mainstream of the Republican Party and has experience in the field they’re undertaking to oversee, there will be Democratic votes.”

Democrats are likely to require roll call votes and possibly delay the nominations of Betsy DeVos to be secretary of education and Tom Price to to be Health and Human Services secretary, in addition to Mattis, Mnuchin and Sessions.

The attorney general nominee looks like he’s in for an especially rough ride. Brown said Sessions “was dissed by the Senate once for his racism,” a reference to his rejection by the chamber 30 years ago to become a federal judge.

Senate Democrats can’t block Trump’s appointments, but they can turn the confirmation process into a slog that could eat up weeks of the Senate calendar and hamper Trump’s first 100 days in office.

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