Trump ac­cuses Democrats of ob­struc­tion

The Washington Times Daily - - POLITICS - BY STEPHEN DINAN

Pres­i­dent Trump ac­cused Se­nate Democrats on Mon­day of block­ing his nom­i­nees — par­tic­u­larly am­bas­sador­ships — from con­fir­ma­tion, is­su­ing yet an­other Twit­ter chal­lenge to Capi­tol Hill.

But Democrats fired back, say­ing the prob­lem is that Mr. Trump has been slow in send­ing nom­i­nees over to Capi­tol Hill for ac­tion, and it’s up to him to get the ball rolling.

It’s the lat­est flare-up in a re­la­tion­ship that has only de­te­ri­o­rated over the first four months of Mr. Trump’s pres­i­dency.

“Dems are tak­ing for­ever to ap­prove my peo­ple, including Am­bas­sadors. They are noth­ing but OB­STRUC­TION­ISTS! Want ap­provals,” Mr. Trump tweeted amid an out­burst that spanned ev­ery­thing from the lat­est Lon­don ter­ror at­tack to gun con­trol to crit­i­ciz­ing how his own Jus­tice Depart­ment has mounted the le­gal de­fense of his ex­treme vet­ting poli­cies.

Se­nate Mi­nor­ity Leader Charles E. Schumer fired back, say­ing Mr. Trump has been the prob­lem. He said there are more than 500 po­si­tions that re­quire Se­nate con­fir­ma­tion, and Mr. Trump has only nom­i­nated 63.

An­other 24 have been nom­i­nated but aren’t of­fi­cially be­fore the Se­nate, and 15 oth­ers have been an­nounced but not for­mally nom­i­nated, Mr. Schumer said. Just 39 have been con­firmed.

Mr. Schumer de­fended his party’s pace as an im­por­tant check on Mr. Trump.

“It was the Se­nate’s re­spon­si­bil­ity to give a thor­ough vet­ting for such im­por­tant po­si­tions, with many of the nom­i­nees hav­ing con­flicts of in­ter­est and in­com­plete ethics agree­ments when they were named. Pres­i­dent Trump ought to roll up his sleeves and get to work rather than point­ing false fin­gers of blame,” the New York Demo­crat said.

He also pointed to a num­ber of picks Mr. Trump an­nounced then can­celed, including his orig­i­nal La­bor Depart­ment sec­re­tary and two dif­fer­ent names for sec­re­tary of the Army.

Repub­li­cans chided Mr. Schumer for ini­tially get­ting his num­bers wrong, skip­ping over 24 nom­i­na­tions Mr. Trump has made.

And the GOP said those con­fir­ma­tions Mr. Schumer is tout­ing only came after a se­ries of road­blocks erected by Democrats on Capi­tol Hill. More than 60 per­cent of the pres­i­dent’s picks have faced Demo­cratic-led fil­i­busters, and his Cabi­net saw the largest num­ber of “No” votes of any pres­i­dent in mod­ern his­tory.

Democrats have used par­lia­men­tary tac­tics to try to de­lay many of Mr. Trump’s ap­point­ments, ask­ing for de­lays in com­mit­tee and forc­ing fil­i­buster vot­ers on the Se­nate floor.

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