This post, Return of the Nominations Blockade, by Kent Scheidegger, first appeared on at http://www.crimeandconsequences.com/crimblog/.
The Senate confirmed 77 stalled nominees–a collection of ambassadors, U.S. attorneys or other non-controversial picks–by voice vote on Jan. 2. But thanks mostly to Democratic objections, the upper chamber returned to the White House 384 nominees it failed to confirm in the 115th Congress. That includes some 70 judicial nominees.
The White House will now have to renominate these men and women, assuming they haven’t given up in frustration. Mark Greenblatt was nominated to be inspector general of the Ex-Im Bank in September 2017, 16 months ago. The Banking Committee approved him three months later; he’s still waiting for a floor vote. Burlington Stores exec Janet Dhillon, the nominee to lead the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, has been waiting 18 months.* * *The White House was rightly criticized for its slow start with
executive-branch nominations, but the main problem long ago became the
systematic Democratic effort to prevent President Trump from filling out
the government. First, Democrats take as much time as possible tying up
nominees in committee. Once even non-controversial nominees get to the
floor, Democrats then object to a quick voice-vote confirmation and
demand a cloture vote that requires 30 hours of floor debate.