Senator Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, the President Pro Tempore of the United States Senate, issued a statement on Senate Democrats’ unprecedented obstruction of President Trump’s nominees.
As a Wall Street Journal editorial noted today, “as of June 28 Mr. Trump had nominated 178 appointees but the Senate had confirmed only 46. Barack Obama had 183 nominees confirmed by that date in his first term, and George W. Bush 130.”
“Rather than working with Republicans in the spirit of bipartisanship, Democrats have sought to stall the President’s agenda by blocking the nominations of key administration officials—all in an effort to satisfy the demands of an extreme political base,” Hatch said. “That’s why they have forced procedural cloture votes 30 times, compared with only eight cloture votes forced by Republicans for Obama nominees by August recess in 2008. This level of obstruction is not normal. If anyone is looking for an explanation as to why critical positions around the government remain unfilled, take note that while Senate Republicans advanced 292 nominees by voice vote in President Obama’s first seven months, Senate Democrats today have allowed only five. Such partisan delay tactics are hurting the country, and they need to stop.”
The Senate has received over 240 nominations but confirmed just over 50, as Democrats have used every tool at their disposal to slow the confirmation process. With Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s announcement that the Senate will forego two weeks of August recess to address the backlog of critical nominations that have been “mindlessly stalled by Democrats,” Hatch is hopeful that Democrats will change their current approach and work with Republicans to confirm key members of the federal government.
Hatch has also spoken extensively about the importance of nominating and confirming judges.