The Trump Administration is urging Senate Republicans to reform procedures, to faster deliver approvals on Trump’s nominees. Beset by obstructionist Democrats, and a divided Republican party in the Senate – Trump is now calling for drastic rule changes.
Making the case for the Trump Administration, Vice President Pence met with the Senate Republican Conference to pitch a radical rules change. With him was Trump’s top policy official, Marc Short.
Marc Short, Legislative Affairs Director of White House, accused Senate Minority Leader, Chuck Schumer (D-New York) of abusing Senate rules to keep key executive and judicial positions vacant.
Short said that the Democrats have asked the Republicans to keep 79 cloture votes on the nominees during President Trump’s first 14 months in office. “That’s roughly five times the number of the last four administrations combined!” Short exclaimed.
Short said that the Senate kept 17 cloture votes during the initial 14 months of the past 4 administrations. He called the situation “historic obstruction,” warning that Trump has run out of patients.
According to Short, President Trump would soon “make his case to the American people that the obstruction has gotten ridiculous.”
Responding to the meeting, Chuck Schumer shot back, blaming Senate Republicans and Administration for the nominee backlog. “This administration has been historically slow in submitting nominations and has withdrawn more nominees in the first year than any of the past four administrations,” said Schumer.
Echoing Marc Short, Republican Senator James Lankford said, “We’re desperately behind on judges and noms.” “We’ve had a cloture vote 80 times. That’s more than the last four presidents combined.”
In a private conversation with Vice President Mike Pence, an undisclosed GOP Senator explained what the Trump Administration needs, We need to reduce the amount of post-cloture time for nominees. The amount of time we now spend is ridiculous.”
Republicans currently have only 51 seats, and the Senator John McCain (R – Arizona) has not done any voting since December – bringing the actual number of Republican votes down to 50.
“The intention of the original filibuster and cloture was to allow for extended debate of issues, not for obstruction of a party’s administration by delaying of nominee votes, so Sen. Perdue would like to see these rules changed,” said Senator David Perdue’s (R-Ga.) spokeswoman, Caroline Vanvick.