President Donald Trump criticized Senate Democrats on March 11 for slow-walking the confirmation of a record number of his nominees.
“The Democrats continue to Obstruct the confirmation of hundreds of good and talented people who are needed to run our government,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “A record in U.S. history. State Department, Ambassadors and many others are being slow-walked. Senate must approve NOW!”
Though Republicans hold the majority in the Senate, Democrats have slowed confirmations to a crawl by requiring nominations to go through all the formal steps. The Senate has taken 81 days on average to confirm Trump’s nominees, more than any of the four presidents tracked before him, according to The Washington Post and Partnership for Public Service. As of March 13, 143 of the president’s nominees were still awaiting confirmation.
Trump has often lambasted Democrats for obstructing his agenda by slowing down the confirmation process.
“Dems are taking forever to approve my people, including Ambassadors. They are nothing but OBSTRUCTIONISTS! Want approvals,” the president wrote on Twitter in June.
The Senate has so far confirmed 357 of Trump’s nominees. There are a total of 1,200 positions which require Senate approval. Of those, 600 are considered key posts.
Trump blasted Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer over the same issue recently. The president’s chief frustration appears to be the stalled confirmation of Richard Grenell as ambassador to Germany. Democrats are requiring 30 hours of floor debate before the confirmation moves forward. Trump nominated Grenell last September.
“Many of the agencies just have so many people out there, including diplomats from, as an example, Germany. Major countries — we have diplomats, they wait in a line because the Democrats don’t want to approve them, because they want to obstruct,” Trump said at the Latino Coalition Legislative Summit on March 7.
“And that’s not good,” he added. “It’s never been like this, ever. They’ve never held them this long. Republicans have never done this to this extent with the Democrats. And Schumer and the Democrats ought to get going because it’s the wrong thing for our country. It’s a very terrible thing.”
Press Secretary Sarah Sanders has been highlighting stalled confirmations at the daily press briefings to ramp up pressure on the Senate.
“As I noted before, blocking Ric Grenell from serving as Ambassador to Germany is putting our national security in jeopardy,” Sanders said, according to The Hill.
Sanders also underlined the blocking of Yleem Poblete for the position of Assistant Secretary for Arms Control Verification and Compliance.
“We need her in place so she’s able to fully represent the United States at upcoming international meetings to discuss Syria’s use of chemical weapons, and to participate in April’s Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Preparatory Committee meetings,” Sanders said.
“And yet, Senator Schumer is holding her up, putting the safety and security of the American people and, frankly, the entire world in danger.”