Steps are being taken this week to stop Democrats' continued obstruction of President Donald Trump's nominees and "restore normalcy" to government, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell writes in an opinion piece Monday.
"Since January 2017, for the first time in memory, a minority has exploited procedure to systematically obstruct a president from staffing up his administration," the Kentucky Republican said in his article for Politico. "This new, across-the-board obstruction is unfair to the president and, more importantly, to the American people. Left unchecked, it is guaranteed to create an unsustainable precedent that would see every future presidency of either party obstructed in the same mindless way."
McConnell noted that it's taken several months to confirm key administration posts, and even noncontroversial lower court nominees have been on hold for weeks for "no discernable reason."
During the first two years of Trump's six predecessors, the Senate held just 24 cloture votes, but during Trump's first two years, there were 128 cloture votes, said McConnell, meaning progress to fill several executive branch positions have been "insufficient" out of "political spite."
Senate Republicans are proposing to reduce the time a minority party can keep delaying lower-tier nominations after the majority invokes cloture.
He added that there are many Democrats who said they'd be happy to support the new proposal, as long as it's delayed until January 2021, when they hope a Democrat will be in the White House.
"Give me a break," he said. "A rules change is either a good idea or it isn’t. The answer cannot depend on whether you like the current occupant of the White House."