Donald Trump is having a very bad day. Not only is his Asian trip a complete and utter disaster, but he just got some very bad news from Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill). Durbin just blocked four of Trump’s picks for interior department positions, leaving Trump on the verge of a complete and utter Twitter freakout.
The announcement comes after the Trump administration’s vow to shrink national monuments, leaving once protected land to be ravaged.
Durbin revealed his decision after Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke wrote a letter demanding to know why the confirmation process was taking so long.
Zinke’s letter griped:
“These nominees have been forced to wait significantly longer than either the Obama or Bush administration’s first-term nominees.”
Durbin’s October 23rd requests for a meeting with Zinke about the plan to shrink the monuments have been ignored by the interior department, leaving Durbin no choice but to block the nominees until such time that a meeting can be scheduled and held.
According to WaPo:
“Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has recommended that President Trump modify 10 national monuments created by his immediate predecessors, including shrinking the boundaries of at least four western sites, according to a copy of the report obtained by The Washington Post.”
“In most of his recommendations, Zinke suggests Trump amend the existing proclamations “to protect objects and prioritize public access; infrastructure upgrades, repair and maintenance; traditional use; tribal cultural use; and hunting and fishing rights.”
Durbin’s letter to the head of the Interior Congressional Relations office reads:
“Please let the secretary know that while my colleagues and I await his scheduling decision, my hold on Department of Interior nominees will continue.”
Kristen Brenge is vice president of government affairs for the National Parks Conservation Association says:
“No other administration has gone this far. This law was intended to protect places from development, not promote damaging natural and cultural resources.”
WaPo reported in September:
“Before submitting Zinke’s report to the White House in August, Interior had already announced that six of the monuments under scrutiny would remain unchanged. Zinke’s memorandum is silent on the fate of the remaining 11 monuments, including Papahanaumokuakea, which Bush created but Obama expanded to more than 582,578 square miles of land and sea in the northwestern Hawaiian Islands.”