When the new Congress began this week, it marked a serious setback for President Trump. Not only did he lose the previous Republican majority in the House of Representatives and control of the legislative process, but hundreds of his nominations for judicial positions and foreign service postings were sent back to the White House after failing to be passed during the previous Senate session.
According to an account in Newsweek, the Trump administration will now have to resubmit the nominations to the new 116th Congress for approval after Democrats blocked 70 judicial nominees submitted at the end of last year and hundreds of State Department appointments still awaited confirmation.
Trump seemingly forgot the unprecedented obstructionism that Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) inflicted upon the Obama administration by refusing to even bring up the nomination of the former president’s Supreme Court pick Merrick Garland before the Judiciary Committee for a confirmation vote when he accused Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) of purposely delaying the nomination approval process.
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….Senator Schumer, more than a year longer than any other Administration in history. These are people who have been approved by committees and all others, yet Schumer continues to hold them back from serving their Country! Very Unfair!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 31, 2018
The truth (unsurprisingly a contradiction of the president’s tweets) is that the majority of unfilled State Department posts remain unfilled because the president has yet to nominate anyone.
For Senator Schumer’s part, progressives are applauding his efforts to prevent an illegitimate president from placing unqualified people into foreign service jobs and stacking the courts with extremist conservative judicial activists hell-bent on overturning precedent in women’s reproductive rights, the legality of Obamacare and other socially important issues.
“Each of these nominees, if confirmed, would have received a lifetime seat on the federal courts and had a profound impact on the lives of Americans long after Donald Trump leaves the White House,” Marge Baker, the executive vice president for People for the American Way, said in The Hill.
According to Newsweek:
“A tracker from The Washington Post and the Partnership for Public Service shows the Senate has so far approved 434 nominations out of the 707 positions that require confirmation. The Senators’ decision to knock back a large number of nominations—the full list was published in the Congressional Record on Friday—has now thrown them into jeopardy.”
While many of the rejected nominees will be resubmitted and eventually may be approved by the Republican-controlled Senate, the bureaucratic process of resubmitting the nominations will at least slow down the process and delay any damage that could be done in the interim.
A White House spokesman put on a brave face in his comments on the rejected nominations made to Politico:
“The President is pleased with the historic confirmation of two Supreme Court Justices, 30 Appellate and 53 District Court judges in the 115th Congress,” White House spokesman Hogan Gidley told the political website. “In the 116th Congress, he will continue nominating judges to fill vacancies that will uphold our laws and Constitution.”
If that isn’t a compelling enough reason to remove Trump from the White House as soon as possible, don’t worry, there will be plenty more reasons to go along with it when Special Counsel Robert Mueller completes his investigation.
Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter.