Since Donald Trump began announcing his cabinet picks shortly after his November 8 victory, Americans on both sides of the aisle have expressed concerns about the president-elect’s judgment. While Trump promised on the campaign trail to “drain the swamp” and get rid of corruption in Washington, his choices have told a different story.
However, those who are worried about the incoming Trump administration can find a bit of solace in the fact that incoming Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer and other Senate Democrats have vowed to be extremely thorough with the confirmation hearings for every one of Trump’s picks, despite pushback from Senate Republicans.
According to insiders who spoke to POLITICO, Schumer has reportedly told Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell that Democrats will not “go along with quick confirmations for Trump’s nominees if the Senate majority leader’s caucus doesn’t meet several demands.” Schumer has asked for comprehensive financial disclosures from each of Trump’s cabinet picks, as well as assurance about the timing and length of each of the hearings.
Schumer is also requesting that McConnell not schedule simultaneous confirmation hearings. This request will allow for members on multiple committees to attend each hearing; however, it could also make it difficult for all nominees to be fully vetted in time for Inauguration Day.
POLITICO spoke to Schumer’s spokesman, Matt House, who emphasized that Democrats will not be rushed through the vetting process. House explained:
‘As soon as President-elect Trump’s nominees have submitted all of their paperwork, (and) senators have had time to review their record and a fair hearing schedule has been agreed to by both parties, the process can move forward. If Republicans think we’re going to quickly greenlight their nominees to fill up this rigged Cabinet without a thorough review, they have another thing[sic] coming.’
Senate Republicans, naturally, are not pleased with the Democrats’ determination to ensure that all of Trump’s picks have a thorough review before they are confirmed.
Don Stewart, Mitch McConnell’s spokesman, accused Schumer and other Democrats of trying to obstruct President-elect Trump. He said that they “approved wholeheartedly” of quickly approving President Obama’s nominees but are holding Trump to a different standard.
Stewart told POLITICO:
‘Surely they won’t object to treating the incoming president’s nominees with the same courtesy and seriousness with which the Senate acted on President Obama’s nominees. Our committees and chairmen are fully capable of reviewing the incoming Cabinet nominations with the same rules and procedures as the same committees did with President Obama’s nominations.’
The difference between Obama’s nominees and Trump’s nominees, according to House, is that all of Obama’s choices signed ethics agreements with the Office of Government Ethics prior to their confirmation hearings. The same cannot be said for the individuals Trump has chosen.
‘[Obama’s] administration thoroughly vetted potential nominees, ensured that they provided all of the relevant information to Senate committees before their hearings, and underwent a rigorous review and hearing process before a confirmation vote. President-elect Trump’s administration has taken the opposite approach with his nominees.’
Featured image via Drew Angerer/Getty Images.