07.01.2013 0

Republicans need to follow Senate Democrats’ lead and reject Obama nominees

By Nathan Mehrens

Penny Pritzker, the Hyatt Hotel heiress who has been one of the primary major funders for President Obama over the course of his political career was confirmed by the Senate in a 97-1 vote.  The lone dissenter was that radical arch-conservative, Bernie Sanders (socialist from Vermont).

The Senate also voted 100-0 to confirm some random Obama nominee to become the next Secretary of Transportation.  There is obvious evidence of rampant obstructionism within the Senate in that confirmation vote.

In fact, even Obama appointee Mari Carmen Aponte was confirmed to be ambassador to El Salvador.  Her confirmation came in spite of her history of allegedly having a live in boyfriend who doubled as a spy for Castro’s Cuba and her alleged financial ties to the communist government.  After due consideration, and against the wishes of groups like Americans for Limited Government, Aponte who had been rejected for an ambassadorship when nominated by President Clinton 1990s, was eventually confirmed in 2012.

Yet, in spite of evidence that when a nominee is even remotely qualified, the Senate will confirm him or her. Harry Reid is holding up the canard of Senate Republican obstructionism to attempt coerce wobbly Republicans to vote to confirm a slate radical nominees after the July 4recess.

Led by the nominations of Gina McCarthy to the Environmental Protection Agency and Thomas Perez to Labor, as well as three judicial nominees that would effectively pack the D.C. Circuit  that has proven nettlesome to the Administration, Majority Leader Harry Reid is threatening to shut down the Senate filibuster process over opposition to them.

On the Cabinet level, Obama has acquired confirmation of his entire team in a timely manner save McCarthy and Perez, each of whom have a recent history of zealous radicalism.  This radicalism coupled with each of their failure to be open about their activities, rightfully has their nominations in jeopardy.  In fact, failure to reject these two crusaders would signal Senate Republican acquiescence to policies designed to destroy legitimate domestic energy production and enrich Obama’s big labor political allies.

On the judicial nomination front, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) points out that the facts about judicial filibusters simply don’t match the claims by the Democrat Senate Leadership stating, “At this point under President Bush, the Senate had taken 24 cloture votes on judicial nominees and 20 of them had failed. In other words, there had been 20 judicial filibusters. Not cloture motions, but actual filibusters that prevented confirmation votes. But under President Obama, the Senate has taken only nine cloture votes on judicial nominees and only four of those have failed. There have been only four judicial filibusters since President Obama took office.”

That’s right, at similar points in both the George W. Bush and Barack H. Obama administration’s, the Senate Democrats had blocked five times more Bush judicial nominees than have been blocked by Republicans.

Hatch goes on to point out that of the 51 cloture votes on judicial nominees since the first one in 1968, “79 percent of all votes by Senators for judicial filibusters in American history have been cast by Democrats.”

Now, Harry Reid is attempting to create a confirmation crisis that doesn’t exist in order to pack courts and get Obama’s environmental and labor crusaders into positions of authority.  Senator Hatch is right, when they were in the minority, Senate Democrats have demonstrated a willingness to use every tool at their disposal to defeat nominees that they did not like.

Is it too much to hope that Senate Republicans will show the same resolve in stopping cloture from being invoked on the Perez, McCarthy and the unneeded court packing judicial nominees?

Nathan Mehrens is the President of Americans for Limited Government.

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