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Senators seek expedited consideration of Trump nominees

Photos courtesy of U.S. Senator Roger Wicker and Cindy Hyde-Smith. Graphic by News Mississippi

U.S. Senators Roger Wicker and Cindy Hyde-Smith have voted in support of a new effort to overcome ongoing Democratic filibusters of Trump nominees.

Hyde-Smith, who serves on the Senate Rules Committee, said Democratic obstructionism to hundreds of people nominated by President Trump is having an effect on how federal services are delivered to Mississippians.

“The irrational obstruction of President Trump’s nominees has real-world consequences for Mississippians and all Americans,” said Hyde-Smith. “We have a real problem when potential disaster response to Mississippi could be hindered because Democrats are holding up noncontroversial and fully-capable nominees for no good reason.”

Senator Wicker has spoken on multiple occasions about the harms of Democratic delays of the President’s nominees. Specifically speaking about legislation he supported that would have reduced the debate time for most nominees.

“This week, Senate Democrats continued their historic campaign of obstruction against President Trump’s well-qualified nominees,” said Wicker. “Today I joined my Republican colleagues in the Senate to set a new precedent for the confirmation of sub-cabinet level nominees and lower court judges. By shortening the debate time for these non-controversial nominees, the Senate will regain valuable legislative time that can be used to consider proposals that are important to the American people.”

The Senate Republicans voted on Wednesday to lower from 30 hours to two hours the post-cloture debate time required for sub-cabinet level nominees and lower court judges.  The move would not affect debate limits on the Supreme Court, circuit court, or highest-level executive branch nominees.

“Senate traditions are revered, but the rules are being abused,” said Hyde-Smith. “The Senate must return to a reasonable process to fulfill our constitutional responsibility of advice and consent on nominees.”

Hyde-Smith added that the timeliness of the process was called into question during a discussion about Mississippi flooding when Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler complained to Hyde-Smith that the nominee to lead EPA emergency response activities has languished 394 days in the Senate. She called the Democrats acts as a campaign of destruction saying they have forced the Senate to conduct 128 cloture votes on nominations during President Trump’s first two years—more than five times as many as the equivalent periods for the previous six presidents combined.

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