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The Senate Shall Advise and Consent

Post # 147, Bob McKnight's Florida Commentary

'We'll settle the score.'

Senator (Doctor) John Barrasso (R., Wyoming) is the Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, the 3rd most important position in the Republican controlled U.S. Senate. He is a doctor and a very conservative member who has largely towed the Trump line.

He recently opined in a Wall Street Journal Op Ed that President-Elect Joe Biden, "Don't expect Senate Republicans to forget how the Democrats treated Mr. Trump's nominees...we will have the ability to reject nominees." Barrasso pointed out that Trump's predecessor, President Obama had 11 of his 15 Cabinet nominations confirmed in January. The confirmations were voted by the Republicans and Democrats. Barrasso laments that Trump only had 3 of his 15 nominees approved in the same time frame, with only negative votes from the Democrats. In effect, The Chairman of the Senate Conference is saying forgot the charge above to provide judicious advise and consent, just get even and 'settle the score.' Senator, was it even possible that the reasons some Senators opposed Trump nominees is because they were not qualified?

Giving President Trump the benefit of doubt, one reason for his poor confirmation record may be that he had never served in office before and therefore many of his appointments were of people not familiar with the Federal government or the Capitol. But now let's look at just 5 key Cabinet members he did get confirmed for Trump and what happened to them:

1. Tom Price-HHS-resigned in disgrace.

2. Scott Pruitt-DEP-resigned in disgrace.

3. Jeff Sessions-AG-resigned in disgrace.

4. Ryan Zinke-Interior-resigned in disgrace.

5. Robert Snyder-Veterans-resigned in disgrace.

Maybe Senator Barrasso is right that the Democrats should be criticized for their handling of Trump's Cabinet nominees. Maybe these 5 should never been approved at all.

Now let's do a comparison of "A"Team turnover in the first year of office for each of the last 6 President's as calculated by the prestigious Brookings Institute:

Reagan 17%

H.W. Bush 7

Clinton 11

G.W. Bush 6

Obama 9

Trump 35

So, Senator Barrasso, it looks like the Presidential appointments of Donald Trump turn over (fired or resign) at a far greater rate, more than double or less, than any of our 5 Presidents of both parties before him. Maybe close scrutiny of his appointments was wise after all.

Senators, your duty is give the President your advice and consent on his nominees, not to settle the score.




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