President Donald Trump blasted Democratic lawmakers for the sluggish pace of confirmations for his Cabinet appointees. Democratic Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, has signaled the confirmations will continue to grind slowly as his colleagues face growing pressure from their constituents to push back against the president following his executive order banning travel from several Muslim-majority countries.
On Jan. 31, Trump took to social media to accuse both Schumer and the Democratic House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California of obstructing his Cabinet appointees, Business Insider reports.
"Nancy Pelosi and Fake Tears Chuck Schumer held a rally at the steps of the Supreme Court and mic did not work (a mess)- just like Dem party!" Trump tweeted.
"When will the Democrats give us our Attorney General and rest of Cabinet!" the president added. "They should be ashamed of themselves. No wonder D.C. doesn't work!"
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Both the Trump administration and GOP lawmakers in Congress have grown increasingly frustrated with Democrats slowing the Cabinet confirmation process to a crawl. While former President Barack Obama had seven appointees confirmed by his Inauguration Day, only two Trump appointees have been confirmed so far, according to the Washington Examiner.
Senate Democrats had initially voiced concern when the Republican Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky set the confirmation hearings all in a wide batch in early January, before many of the appointees had completed their financial disclosures and ethics paperwork, NPR reports.
While an appointee can have his or her confirmation hearing before the financial and ethical disclosures are completed, an appointee cannot be confirmed. The Trump appointees' financial disclosures have proven to be cumbersome given their massive wealth, with commerce secretary nominee Wilbur Ross alone having a net worth of $2.5 billion, according to Politico.
Part of the GOP frustration is that while Democrats can stall the hearings for the Trump appointees, they do not possess the votes to deny them confirmations. The Trump Cabinet picks only require 51 votes to be confirmed, and Republicans currently hold a 52-seat majority in the Senate.
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"We don't have the votes in many instances, so in order to stop any nominee, we need three profiles in courage on the Republican side," Democratic Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaii told The Washington Post. "Those are just facts."
While Democrats are receiving criticism from their GOP colleagues over delaying the confirmation process, they are also facing mounting pressure from liberal constituents who want to block the Trump appointees.
"They need to do anything they can to defeat or delay the seating of Senator [Jeff] Sessions, Mr. [Rex] Tillerson and Mr. [Tom] Price," said Democratic activist Maggie Godbold of Virginia. "They're unqualified."
The pressure on Senate Democrats to put up a political fight has only intensified after Trump signed an executive order blocking any admittance of refugees and prohibiting travel from several Muslim-majority countries, prompting accusations that he has enacted a Muslim ban.
Following the order, Democratic lawmakers have signaled that they are prepared to become even more bullish on derailing Trump appointees, from his Cabinet to his upcoming Supreme Court justice pick.
"I'm prepared to use every tool that we have to stop a nominee," Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut told Time. "This [executive] order is so beyond the pale, has caused such confusion, fear and chaos that it has really changed the way people think about the Trump administration."
On Jan. 30, Schumer asserted that his colleagues will continue to hold hearings for every Trump Cabinet appointee until they determine where every nominee stands on the president's immigration executive order.
"I think we're going to ask about it for just about every one," Schumer told Today. "This is so important to America. Aren't the American people entitled to know the positions of these Cabinet people before they come in?"