Trump Well Behind in Winning Senate Confirmation of Appointees

The White House is turning up the heat on Senate Democrats for using delaying tactics to block President Donald Trump’s executive branch nominees, even as Trump trails recent presidents in the number of appointments so far.

“These numbers show the Democrats’ true colors,” @SHSanders45 says.

Trump blasted Democrats in a tweet Tuesday for procedural tactics in the Senate, which have included requiring cloture–or a special measure to end debate before a vote–and boycotting of confirmation hearings to prevent a required quorum.

Trump is well behind his most recent predecessors not only in confirmations by the Senate, but also in making nominations to build his administration.

By July 11, 2009, in his first year in office, President Barack Obama—with a Senate controlled by his party–had made 356 nominations, 200 of which had been confirmed, according to the Center for Presidential Transition, a project of the Partnership for Public Service.

By this point in 2001, his first term, President George W. Bush—with a Democrat-controlled Senate–had made 296 nominations, 149 of which were confirmed.

President Bill Clinton—also with a Democrat-controlled Senate—had made 256 nominations by this point in 1993, and had 196 confirmations.

His predecessor, George H.W. Bush, had made 243 nominations at this point in 1989, of which 144 had won Senate confirmation.

Three decades later, Senate Democrats are gumming the process by requiring cloture filings for most of Trump’s nominees. Cloture means before a vote on the nominees, the Senate must have a two-day waiting period and 30 hours of debate. The rule allows the Senate minority, in this case the Democrats, to halt other business.

The blame certainly can be spread around, said Robert Moffit, a senior fellow in health policy at The Heritage Foundation who has watched Capitol Hill for decades.

“The Senate delay is pure obstruction and a disservice to the American people,” Moffit told The Daily Signal. “Advise and consent is not simply obstructing the president’s team’s ability to carry out his agenda. This directly obstructs the democratic process. The country elects presidents.”

Moffit said the Trump administration also has moved slowly in nominating political appointees.

“The sluggish pace to fill sub-Cabinet posts has not been the fault of Democrats, but the fault of a presidential personnel operation,” he said.

Political appointees serve an integral role as leaders and decision-makers in government, said Max Stier, president and CEO of the Partnership for Public Service, a nonpartisan research organization.

“President Trump has picked up the pace on nominations, but there are hundreds of vitally important positions left to fill, including director of the U.S. Census Bureau, assistant secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs and assistant secretary for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE),” Stier told The Daily Signal in a prepared statement.

“It is essential that the president identifies top talent to fill these leadership positions and that the Senate consider these nominees quickly so that critical decisions can be made across government,” he said.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that after completing work on a health care bill to replace Obamacare, the Senate will turn to a defense spending bill and “the backlog of critical nominations that have been mindlessly stalled by Democrats.”

“In order to provide more time to complete action on important legislative items and process nominees that have been stalled by a lack of cooperation from our friends across the aisle, the Senate will delay the start of the August recess until the third week of August,” McConnell, R-Ky., said.

During a press briefing Tuesday, White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders noted McConnell’s announcement and accused Senate Democrats of “looking to set a record for pointless and dangerous obstruction.”

Citing the Obama administration, Sanders added:

While more than 90 percent of the previous administration’s nominations were confirmed by a voice vote, Democrats in the Senate have allowed only approximately 10 percent of President Trump’s nominees to be voted on in that way.

We’re coming up on the August recess of President Trump’s first term, by which point the Senate [had] confirmed 69 percent of President Obama’s nominations; less than a month out from that same point, the Senate has confirmed only approximately 23 percent of President Trump’s nominees. These numbers show the Democrats’ true colors.

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., however, faulted Trump during a Senate floor speech.

“No administration in recent memory has been slower in sending nominations to the Senate,” Schumer said in his remarks Monday. “We can’t go forward until that happens. That’s almost unprecedented in its degree. Time and time again they’ve stalled on providing committees the information needed.”

He added: “It’s typical of the Trump administration: Do something wrong and blame someone else for your problem.”

The White House listed these as some of the more noncontroversial nominees who are being held up by Senate Democrats:

  • Patrick M. Shanahan as deputy defense secretary.
  • Noel J. Francisco as solicitor general.
  • Lee Francis Cissna as director of Citizenship and Immigration Services.
  • Kevin Hassett as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers.

A total of 16 nominees are for defense-related posts, Marc Short, White House director of legislative affairs, told reporters during the Monday briefing.

“I believe that the Democrat obstruction is jeopardizing national security,” Short said.

The post Trump Well Behind in Winning Senate Confirmation of Appointees appeared first on The Daily Signal.

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DHS outlines their biometric ID plans for foreign travel

What at first seemed like creeping tip-toe incrementalism toward the use of biometric ID for travel is quickly becoming a warp-speed reality.
Over the past couple of months I’ve been covering some disturbing developments at national airports that seem to show an acceleration of the plan to use biometric identification in a variety of ways.
On May 19th I reported on a new program initiated by Delta Airlines at Minneapolis-St. Paul airport to have automated baggage kiosks for "priority customers" that will first scan a traveler’s passport, then their face in order to match identity to checked luggage. It was promoted as a "pilot program" that Delta launched to seek customer feedback in the hope that it could be rolled out more widely in the future.
This announcement was followed by JetBlue who stated they will "test facial- and fingerprint-recognition technology at two U.S. airports to replace boarding passes, building on industry efforts to increase security and ease passage through airports."

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MSNBC Runs Segment on Venezuelan Crisis, Refuses to Mention Socialism

On Monday morning, Hallie Jackson ran a segment on MSNBC Live devoted to investigating the ills of Venezuela amid growing tensions in the South American country. For the entirety of the segment, neither the host nor her guest even mentioned the socialism that has bound the once prosperous nation to starvation.

If a foreign country that had decided to explicitly govern itself upon free market capitalism were to be inflamed with ceaseless riots, food shortages, and political unrest, the media would be foaming at the mouth to tar conservatism and its adherents as co-conspirators in fomenting the turmoil. When the avowedly socialist regime that overtook Venezuela implemented a $12.53 minimum wage, upheld a single-payer public health system, and resorted to the type of bread lines that Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has warmly endorsed erupts into unmitigated chaos, the media is unwilling to talk about the ideological buttress of the nation’s economic disaster, namely, socialism. Why is this?
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Consider Andrew Klavan’s prophetic “First Rule of Mainstream Media Journalism”: “Whenever the prejudices and illusions of left-wingers are confirmed by an individual incident, the incident is treated as representative; when those prejudices and illusions are contradicted, the incident is considered an aberration — and treating it as representative is deemed hateful.”
We’ve seen this, of course, play out in the extrapolations about American racism made after Dylan Roof’s horrendous shooting of nine black churchgoers but the media’s comparative silence about the theological motivations of the Orlando terrorist, whose reference to Allah was censored out of the call log by then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch. But Klavan’s almost scientific postulate extends remarkably to the world of economics, in some sense- the media love to play fact-checkers when Republicans try to make arguments for the repeal of Obamacare, but they have been very cautious in their coverage of the damning study indicating the economic ill-effects of Seattle’s newly implemented minimum wage hike, even, as Forbes pointed out, to the point of outright dismissal of its results by the entire editorial board of The New York Times.

Venezuela is a case study, if not an outright rebuttal, of the proposition that people are docile in the face of government tyranny so long as that government “gives” them a certain bill of goods. Moreover, it is living proof of the regressive nature of statism- the once booming Venezuela now has a starving citizenry, 75% of which has lost an average of 19 pounds in the last year alone.
Don’t expect the media to let you know why.
 

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Back to Blue: UK to Scrap Maroon European Passport for Iconic Dark Blue Design

SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTERThe maroon passport currently held by British citizens will revert back to its original dark blue colour as Britain prepares to leave the European Union, the Home Office has confirmed.
The classic dark blue design, which was replaced by burgundy-coloured passports in 1988 to comply with EU policy of a single European passport, could be re-introduced as soon as 2019, with a range of contractors currently bidding for its production.SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER
In 2007, the European Union sought to further dilute the passport’s individuality by insisting that the words “Her Britannic Majesty,” were removed from the first page.
Tory MP Andrew Rosindell, who is chairman of the Parliamentary Flags and Heraldry Committee said: “It’s a matter of identity. Having the pink European passports has been a source of humiliation. It merged us into one European identity, which isn’t what we are.”

“The old dark blue design was a distinct, clear and bold statement of what it means to be British, which is just what our citizens need as they travel abroad after Brexit,” he continued.
The current contract with passport manufacturers De La Rue expires with the British government in 2019, with the Home Office now accepting proposals from companies to manage £490 million redesign project. Other priorities for the government’s new design will include incorporating new mechanisms to combat identity fraud.
Responding to the news, a Home Office spokesperson said: “We are launching the procurement process now to ensure there is sufficient time to produce and design UK passports from 2019 when the current contract ends.”

The issue of the British passport was one frequently mentioned by former UKIP leader Nigel Farage, who pointed out that as well as having the words ‘European Union’ on the front, it also guarantees British citizenship rights for all 500 million EU citizens.
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