In what would be an act of unprecedented sabotage that not even outgoing President Donald Trump experienced when he took office in 2017, Senate Republicans are already planning to torpedo President-Elect Joe Biden’s Cabinet nominees.
Ever since Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 election, Republicans have been vowing to block his nominees and obstruct legislation, presumably in retaliation for beating Trump. It would be an escalation of how Republicans treated former President Barack Obama and demonstrate a hostility toward Democrats that should enrage the American people as the nation continues reeling from the pandemic, an economic recession, and a weakened national security apparatus.
According to Axios:
Top targets include political names and civil servants who spoke out loudest against President Trump, forced out his appointees or became stars in the impeachment hearings — like Sally Yates and Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman — as well as longtime targets of conservative media, like Susan Rice.
Targets also include more obscure potential nominees for federal judgeships, solicitor general and the Supreme Court. Republicans worry these nominees could blunt conservative moves on deregulation or social policy.
With Biden planning to announce his first slate of Cabinet picks this week, Senate GOP staffers are closely following reports of floated names, gathering opposition research and even planning potential hearing questions.
Of course, this scheme would be stopped in its tracks if Georgia voters send two Democrats to the Senate instead of the two Republican incumbents because Democrats would then take over the majority. However, even if Republicans maintained majority control the few remaining moderates could cross the aisle like Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah) did when he joined Democrats to vote for conviction during the impeachment trial and get Biden’s nominees confirmed.
These Republicans certainly would not have to worry about incurring Trump’s wrath anymore, especially since Trump faces prosecution for a long list of crimes.
And if Republicans won’t cooperate at all, Biden could simply do what Trump has been doing and ignore the Senate by merely placing his nominees in “acting” roles. If Republicans think they can force Biden to pick nominees that they want, they are sorely mistaken. Furthermore, refusing to let Biden pick his own team during this time of crisis would be a potential disaster for the GOP because Americans will blame them for letting the nation suffer and will vote accordingly in the 2022 midterm election and again in 2024.
This kind of partisan scheme is totally unacceptable and demonstrates the absolute contempt Republicans have for our democracy and our country. They let Trump all but destroy it for the last four years and now they want to prevent Biden from cleaning up their mess.
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