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Tags: john barrasso | senate majority whip | charles schumer

WH Open to Barrasso's Call to Change Confirmation Rules


John Gizzi By Tuesday, 27 March 2018 09:21 AM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

Three days after Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., called for a change in the Senate rules regarding votes on administration nominees, the White House gave its tentative support to speed up confirmation of President Donald Trump's appointees.

Newsmax asked assistant White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah on Monday if the president would support the call of Senate Majority Whip Barrasso to reform Senate's rules, including a speed up of the 30 hour cloture rule, to allow quicker confirmation votes.

Shah replied: "You know, I would generally agree with the concept," though he added he would need to see the full details to officially support the move.

"It's time to change the Senate rules and go back to that process that Sen. [Charles] Schumer [Democratic leader in the Senate] supported in 2013 and 2014 when Democrats were in the majority," declared Barrasso last week from Senate floor after a unanimous consent vote for Ric Grenell, the president's nominee to be ambassador to Germany, failed. "If we go back to the 2014 standard, we could clear multiple nominations in a single day."

Barrasso recalled how in 2013 and 2014, he and Schumer were part of a bipartisan group of colleagues who worked out a compromise permitting frequent up-and-down votes on nominations. Though Republicans were holding up just a handful of Obama nominees, Democrats moved to shorten the cloture debate period from 30 hours to just three hours.

Barrasso went on to castigate Democrats for holding up debate on Trump nominees who have already gone through hearings and were voted upon favorably by the appropriate Senate committees.

"We have more than 100 other qualified people who've been voted on and approved by the appropriate Senate committee, and they're waiting to do important jobs," he said.

The president himself has been so frustrated by Senate Democrats blocking his nominees and key legislation, he has called for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to use the so-called nuclear option and allow Republicans move through votes with simple majorities.

Asked if the administration was working with Barrasso on his rules-change concept, Shah told us he was "not aware of a White House conversation with Sen. Barrasso."

See: White House Faces Historic Backlog of 189 Senate Confirmations.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

The White House gave its tentative support to speed up confirmation of President Donald Trump’s appointees, Newsmax's John Gizzi reports.
john barrasso, senate majority whip, charles schumer
Tuesday, 27 March 2018 09:21 AM
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