The Republicans still haven’t come up with a better plan than to be as obstructionist as possible. Obama’s been in office for over a year now and there are still dozens of nominees he’s made in that time that have yet to come up for a vote in Congress thanks to Republicans blocking the votes for no reason other than to cause problems.
Yesterday two Democrat Senators tried to clear out a log jam of 101 Federal nominees only to have the Republicans block 97 of them:
Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) took aim at this tactic yesterday evening. Employing a “little-used rule adopted in 2007 that requires a Member to report his anonymous hold [on a federal nominee] in the Congressional Record [six days] after a colleague has tried to clear the name,” the two senators took to the Senate floor to try and clear the backlog and ask for unanimous consent for votes on scores of federal nominees.
As Whitehouse and McCaskill began reading the names of stalled federal nominees, the Republicans at first didn’t even appear. Whitehouse then waited patiently for a Republican Senator to arrive on the floor. Minority Whip Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) finally appeared and began objecting to the two senators’ unanimous consent requests, ultimately blocking votes on 97 nominees. The Huffington Post has assembled a video compilation of Kyl blocking Whitehouse and McCaskill’s requests.
“Hopefully by the end of the week we’ll learn who it is in the Senate that doesn’t want them to be nominated, who it is that doesn’t want them to be confirmed,” McCaskill said afterwards. Because of the rule that McCaskill and Whitehouse employed, the senators who have placed the anonymous holds now have six legislative days before they have to reveal who they are to the Congressional Record. However, as the Huffington Post’s Ryan Gram and Ben Craw note, the senators “may be able to wiggle out of going public by dropping their holds and picking them right back up, or teaming up with other Republicans and swapping the holds back and forth. It’s never been tried before.”
The Republicans have managed to drag this process out longer than any of the three previous administrations with some of the people nominated having been waiting since the day Obama took office. If there’s any truth to the Republican claim that “government isn’t the solution, it’s the problem” it’s only because they actively work to make the government the problem by leaving key positions unfilled. They don’t give a fuck about you or anyone else as is evidenced by the fact that they are doing everything they can to cripple the government so long as Obama’s in office. Newt Gingrich is even promising that if the Republicans regain a majority in either or both the Senate and House they’ll shut the government down completely. Which worked out so well for them the last time they tried it.
They have no solutions to offer. They don’t give a shit about their constituents. All they care about is not letting the other side have the smallest of victories if there’s anything they can possibly do about it and they will use every obscure rule they can dig up to accomplish that goal.