Thu Feb 7, 2013, 07:58 PM
Purveyor (21,078 posts)
Hagel Was Just the Appetizer; Blocking Obama’s nominees is currently GOP’s best policy-making tool
In a more boring and predictable world, Chuck Hagel would be one step closer to the Pentagon today. After last week’s debacle in front of the Armed Services Committee, Hagel was given a week to provide the texts of speeches he’d given since leaving the Senate and proof of any “financial remuneration” he’d taken from foreign interests. On Wednesday morning, 24-odd hours before the committee would vote to recommend the nomination, Hagel shrugged—the speeches were off-the-cuff, the financial info didn’t belong to him.
And so perpetually exasperated committee chairman Carl Levin pushed off the vote. He really didn’t want to. “We can't not vote,” he groused, “because there is dissatisfaction on the part of people because that could be endless.”
Pity the chairman. Just last month, he helped the Senate avert a blood-and-guts showdown over filibuster reform. Instead of taking away the 60-vote threshold to confirm a nominee, Levin helped shrink the debate time on a Cabinet nominee from 30 hours to eight. “It will make it easier to confirm nominees in general,” he told me. Since then, a gaggle of Republicans has threatened to filibuster Hagel and 42 Republicans have sworn to filibuster Consumer Finance Protection Board Director Richard Cordray.
Why are Democrats perpetually shocked—shocked!—when Republicans throw hurdles in front of their nominees? For four full years, GOP senators have picked fights over appointments, delaying nominations when possible, occasionally throttling them outright.
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Response to blkmusclmachine (Reply #1)
Fri Feb 8, 2013, 08:09 AM
KharmaTrain (31,706 posts)
2. This Is Being Filibustered In The Committee...
They're trying to delay a vote on Hagel in the Intel Committee...Reid has nothing to do with this unusual tactic. It was Levin who was among 8 other Senators who pushed for the watered down filibuster rules...maybe he's the one who should be told.