Politics

Dems Will Draw Out Trump Cabinet Confirmation Hearings

| by Denise Recalde

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York openly signaled his party will draw out the confirmation process for eight of President-elect Donald Trump's Cabinet picks.

According to The Washington Post, Schumer informed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky that Democrats will prolong the confirmation process for Trump cabinet nominee's for the State, Justice and Education departments, as well as the Office of Management and Budget. 

Already, Schumer is asking nominees to fully disclose their finances ahead of their confirmation hearings. The Senate has already received financial documents from Steven Mnuchin and Tom Price, Trump's picks for the posts of Treasury secretary and Health and Human Services services, but were "still waiting" for tax returns from secretary of state nominee Rex Tillerson and others, CBS News reports. 

Only three Senate committees require nominees to disclose their tax returns: Finance, Budget, and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. 

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"Any attempt by Republicans to have a series of rushed, truncated hearings before Inauguration Day and before the Congress and public have adequate information on all of them is something Democrats will vehemently resist," Schumer said in a statement released on Jan. 1.  

"If Republicans think they can quickly jam through a whole slate of nominees without a fair hearing process, they’re sorely mistaken," he added, claiming that Trump's picks "would break key campaign promises and have made billions off the industries they’d be tasked with regulating.”

Schumer stated Democrats are looking to have a minimum of two days of hearings per Cabinet pick and that no more than two nominees should face hearings in the same week.

The Democratic senators will also be targeting Trump's picks to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Labor, Treasury, and the Environmental Protection Agency, The Hill reports. 

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McConnell's staff members are highlighting that there was bipartisan cooperation when President Barack Obama's nominees faced confirmation hearings.

Don Stewart, McConnell's deputy chief of staff, stated that the two parties "worked together and expeditiously to carefully consider his nominees," and mentioned that all of Obama's picks were confirmed within two weeks of his inauguration in 2009. 

"Sen. Schumer and others approved wholeheartedly of this approach at the time, so surely they won’t object to treating the incoming president’s nominees with the same courtesy and seriousness with which the Senate acted on President Obama’s nominees," Stewart said.

Sources: The Hill, The Washington Post, CBS News / Photo credit: Melissa Elian/The Journal News via Opinion Exchange 

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