May 5, 2018

Senate Should Vote on Nominees

The Senate has been on a great confirmation streak. Just last week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was confirmed. Republicans have already broken the record for the most circuit court nominees in one year, and next week, they plan to break another. If all goes as planned, the Senate will have confirmed more circuit court nominees in President Trump’s first two years than former Presidents Obama, George W. Bush, or Clinton. With the Senate now making this a priority, we could see a good shift in the laws that govern our nation.

Senator James Lankford (R-OK) proposed a change to the Senate rules regarding the amount of debate time for each nominee. This would lessen the 30-hour requirement to 8 hours for most nominees. In the past, Members would finish their debating before the 30 hours was finished and proceed toward the vote. Since President Trump has been in office, Democrats have forced the full 30 hours of debate, even when no one was speaking on the floor. This has greatly slowed down the confirmation process. Of course, Democrats were outraged about this proposal even though Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) proposed the same rule change in 2013. Both Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY) supported this measure at the time.

Senator Lankford’s rule change is well on its way to the floor. Even with the urgency of the Senate, they will still have the massive task ahead of them to fill the 180 current and known future judicial vacancies. Eagle Forum will continue to encourage the Senate to stay on task to fill these vacancies in a timely manner.