Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Republican’s Claim the Democrats Are Hypocrites

Critical of the Senate Democrat's delay on the vote of Trump’s Cabinet nominees. Republican Senator Pat Toomey said it was an “unprecedented level of obstruction.”

As Robert Reich pointed out the Republicans refused even to consider Obama’s nominee Mark Garland.

In case you don’t recall, “The Senate failed to fulfill its constitutional responsibility with its unprecedented refusal even to consider President Obama’s nomination of [Merrick] Garland. Obama made the nomination with about a year left in his presidency, but from day one, the Republican Senate leadership insisted that it would permanently block the nomination.

“No one ever questioned Garland’s qualifications—an impossibility for this brilliant, dedicated public servant. The obstruction constituted an insulting challenge to Obama’s legitimacy, accompanied by calls for the people to decide via the election of the next president.”

Hypocrisy reins in politics. Nevertheless, because of the Senate Republican’s attitude to permanently block Garland’s nomination, we can expect Senate Democrats to take a tough stance against Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, even though he is qualified.

Today, “Republicans muscled through committee approval of President Donald Trump’s nominees for Treasury and Health on Wednesday, suspending a key Senate rule in the latest escalation of partisan tensions in Congress.

“Democrats boycotted a Finance Committee meeting and Republicans responded by temporarily scuttling a rule requiring at least one Democrat to be present for votes. The committee then approved Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., to become Health secretary and financier Steve Mnuchin to be Treasury secretary by a pair of 14-0 votes.”

Writing prior to today's new, Robert Reich said the Senate Democrats had good reason for their delays:

Robert Reich

Senate Republicans are angry about delays caused by Senate Democrats on votes on Trump nominees. “I think this is a completely unprecedented level of obstruction,” said Senator Patrick J. Toomey, Republican from Pennsylvania.

On what planet has Pat Toomey been? Does he recall the name Merrick Garland? I advise Republicans to stop the self-righteous indignation.

At least Democrats have good reason for their delays:

1. Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee have stalled the confirmation of Steven Mnuchin, Trump’s picks for Treasury secretary, because Mnuchin repeatedly lied about OneWest Bank, which he ran from 2009 to 2015, and its history of robo-signing. On two occasions in written responses, Mnuchin claimed that OneWest never engaged in robo-signing, despite considerable evidence to the contrary. Robo-signing is a tactic whereby low-level employees perjure themselves by signing foreclosure documents claiming to verify loan information, without ever reviewing the facts. An employee of OneWest admitted to robo-signing in a 2009 deposition, and the Columbus Dispatch found dozens of robo-signed OneWest documents in Ohio public records.

2. Democrats are also stalling the nomination of Tom Price, Trump’s HHS nominee, who also lied to the committee. Price received a sweetheart deal from Innate Immunotherapeutics, an Australian biomedical company, to purchase discounted stock shares in a private placement. Price told the Senate Finance Committee that the deal was open to all investors in the company, but the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that the deal was only available by invitation to fewer than 20 people in the U.S.

3. Democrats are also trying to block a vote on Senator Jeff Sessions to be attorney general. Given Trump’s insulting firing of the acting attorney general last night – saying she “betrayed” the Justice Department – it’s appropriate to question Sessions about whether he thinks she betrayed the Department, and whether he’d stand up to the Trump.
Kudos to Democrats for fighting back.

What do you think?

Democrats also opposed Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, saying would be a yes man for Mr. Trump, unlike the acting attorney general who was fired for refusing to…