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ICYMI: Double Standard? Obama Cabinet Picks Slid Through; Trump's Face Hold-Up

- January 9, 2017

Excerpts from Fox News

By: Staff  
Monday, January 9, 2017

“Donald Trump’s team has a message for Senate Democrats threatening to slow-walk their nominees: Give the president-elect’s Cabinet picks the same treatment extended to President Obama’s.
“Top transition officials, along with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., are citing a potential double standard as some Democratic lawmakers seek a delay in advance of a packed schedule of confirmation hearings.
“Eight years ago, the Senate confirmed seven Cabinet-level nominees the day of Obama’s inauguration, including top picks like Janet Napolitano for Homeland Security secretary. Hillary Clinton was confirmed as secretary of state the following day.
“Trump allies are optimistic Trump will get a comparable number confirmed from the outset, but are warning Democrats they’ll suffer politically if they throw the brakes on the process.
‘I think the Democrats will overplay their hand here,’ senior adviser Kellyanne Conway told ‘Fox & Friends’ on Monday. If key Trump nominees are held up, she said, ‘[Democrats] will be blamed, we won’t be blamed’ …
“But incoming Trump press secretary Sean Spicer said Monday that every nominee with a hearing scheduled this week now “has their paperwork in” to the Office of Government Ethics‎.
“Senate committee aides also said hearings were held for former Education Secretary Roderick Paige and former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao before they received the same forms in 2001, and that they received the documents days after each of those hearings. Both were confirmed to serve in President George W. Bush's Cabinet.
“Conway said Trump’s nominees, further, have answered more than 2,600 questions and met with dozens of senators, including Democrats …
“In the end, Democrats can slow down the process but don’t have power to use the filibuster to block nominations, since they changed the threshold on such votes from 60 to 51 votes. If Republicans hold together, Trump’s nominees are virtually assured confirmation …
“Civil rights groups are urging a thorough vetting of Sessions, but others are coming to his defense, with supporters going on air with pro-Sessions testimonials from those who have worked with him …
“In anticipation, the Judicial Crisis Network – the same conservative group that has been lobbying for Sessions’ confirmation – announced Monday it will spend at least $10 million on a campaign to confirm Trump’s eventual Supreme Court nominee.
“Carrie Severino, JCN chief counsel, called it ‘the most robust campaign for a Supreme Court nominee in history,’ vowing to pressure vulnerable Democratic senators on the vote.”

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