Senate Republicans Block Two Obama Nominees

The showdown signals a return to congressional trench warfare over executive branch confirmations

  • Share
  • Read Later

Like TIME on Facebook for more breaking news and current events from around the globe!

Senate Republicans on Thursday blocked confirmation of two Obama Administration nominees, signaling a return to the chamber’s protracted fight over White House appointments that led to talk of filibuster reform over the summer.

GOP Senators blocked the appointments of Rep. Melvin Watts, Obama’s pick to head up the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and Patricia Millet, whom Obama nominated to a seat on the high-proifile U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C.

9 comments
PerryWhite1
PerryWhite1

Ironically, this sort of behavior guarantees that Kathleen Sebelius -- and all other appointments -- will remain in their jobs until the end of the current Administration. Why fire Sebelius, when you can't get a replacement confirmed anyway?

drudown
drudown

A return?

More like: the GOP is engaged in the greatest subversion of the "Appointment Power" in United States History?

How can Sen. Leahy just stand there as the GOP Congress subverts the express intent of our Founding Fathers' prescribed duties over what, exactly? Alleged "partisan differences"? That the President refuses to honor your Unconstitutional Legislative Veto request to "defund" the ACA? Uh, should members of the bar just "forget" our rule of law PRECLUDES such State Action [see, e.g., INS v Chadha (1982) 462 U.S. 919]? Above all, there is NO LEGAL AUTHORITY that gives ANY member of the Senate any self-perceived discretion to subvert the "Advice and Consent" function of the Senate- not over some fabricated Benghazi hearing/red herring, much less the "will of money donors". 

Why pretend that our National Security interests are "served" by "shutting down" the government only to, what, "reopen" it and "refuse" to honor the express requirements of your offices? 

You are all SERVANTS of the People. Let's hope Sen. Leahy honors Procedural Due Process rights on our behalf by upholding the law, by rebuking those that subvert its plain meaning- not merely via overt dilatory tactics and obstructionist conduct- but "openly questioning" the rule of law itself. How was the “shut down”- or just the subversion of the "Appointment Power" not a deprivation of Procedural Due Process if it is undisputed under our laws that the Due Process Clause was intended to secure an individual from an abuse of power by government officials? See Daniels v. Williams (1986) 474 U.S. 327.

PaulDirks
PaulDirks

Time to go nuclear.Actually it'sway past time but there's not much we can do about that.

jmac
jmac

Millet worked in the solicitor general's office during a Republican administration.   She's not being blocked because of who she is; she's being blocked because she's on the D.C. circuit and Republicans, who eagerly put judges on that circuit under Bush, now want it reduced.

My Senator, John Cornyn accused Democrats of trying to 'pack the court'.   Is this what we'll hear when Obama tries to put a judge on the Supreme Court - that we really only need eight judges; otherwise, Obama would be packing the court?

Who in their right mind votes for these guys in this day and age.   The party needs to be destroyed - and as a reminder - Cornyn is supposedly the moderate Senator from Texas.  

deconstructiva
deconstructiva

Time to abolish the filibuster. If you want to be in charge, win a majority at the ballot box.

grape_crush
grape_crush

What is the blocking of nominees but another attempt to shutdown the government, albeit in a small, piecemeal way?

jason024
jason024

Figures...when you can't block them on their merits........you yell BENGHAZI!!!! and pretend that  it is a valid excuse to not do your job.

After numerous fruitless hearings and thousands of reviewed documents it is time to admit you were wrong and move on.

drudown
drudown

@jmac 

Sorry, spare us.

One party cannot thwart the proper FUNCTIONING of our Federal government under the aegis of "partisan principles" lest we willingly rot the tree of our Fallen State.

drudown
drudown

@grape_crush

Concur.

It is NO DIFFERENT than the GOP Congress allowing Corporations to engage in piecemeal "deregulation" or some illusory "immunity" from civil liability for the foreseeable damages that result from their own corporate activities. How is that not just unlawful bribery? The alleged "fact" receiving super-PAC funds is (as yet) purportedly legal, it hardly follows it is "legal" to "opt out" of performing prescribed duties that are in consideration of receiving a Congressional salary. 

Hmm. 

I wonder if ANY other Federal EMPLOYEES tried to engage in this Committee's "failure" to perform their JOB…hmm, say, if a US Postal worker "refused" to deliver mail to "liberal" or "conservative" residents for an entire year…or a Federal Magistrate or Circuit Judge "opted out" of his/her express responsibilities on account of self-described "loyalty" to their "partisan ideology"….who are we kidding…they'd BE FIRED from their respective positions. 

Read: there simply IS NO SELF-PERCEIVED, GOP "discretion" to perform Article I, Section 8's revenue-raising functions for which they ALL receive compensation.

Pity the GOP Congress deems its "partisan privilege" enables it to freely disregard the rule of law, rendering our Federal government a joke, figurative and literal cost (see, e.g., $24 Billion + "shut down") to the People be damned.

"Necessity relieves us from the embarrassment of choice." - Vauvenargues