Group Points to Past Comments of McConnell and Republican Leaders

“The Senate has a longstanding tradition of confirming the Cabinet nominees of a newly elected administration in a timely fashion” – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

WASHINGTON, D.C. Today, government watchdog Accountable.US announced the formation of a Senate War Room that will hold lawmakers accountable for allowing a smooth transition of power and the swift approval of nominees to staff of the new administration. Additionally, the project will seek to limit the corrosive influence of special interests on the Senate as the new president seeks to address the public health and economic crisis left behind by the current president. 

“We agree with Mitch McConnell and will hold him to his word that a new president should have their Cabinet nominees confirmed in a timely fashion,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. “Donald Trump may no longer be president come January 20, but the public health and economic crisis he leaves behind will require the complete attention of our new president and a fully staffed cabinet and government.” 

In making the announcement, Accountable.US pointed to the comments of McConnell and other Republican leaders who have previously insisted that presidents deserve to have their nominees confirmed for Cabinet and other administration posts: 

  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY): “The Senate has a longstanding tradition of confirming the Cabinet nominees of a newly elected administration in a timely fashion.” [C-SPAN, 01/10/17]
  • Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC): “If Biden wins, and I’m, not conceding he will, he deserves a Cabinet” [Twitter, @burgessev, 11/06/20]
  • Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY): “I think that the President coming in for his first term ought to be able to have the cabinet. He won the election. He ought to have who he wants surrounding him.” [Squawk Box  CNBC  January 20, 2017 6:00am-9:01am EST, Internet Archive, accessed 11/06/20 (00:01)]
  • Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO): “Having the right people in the right job is an important thing. It’s also important to have them in the right job at the right time, and I believe the Senate today is taking important steps to return back to the traditional role of the Senate in confirming nominees and giving presidents an opportunity to do the job they were elected to do.” [Blunt-Led Effort To End Democrats’ Blockade Of Trump Nominees Succeeds In Senate, Office of Senator Roy Blunt, 04/03/19 (13:19)]
  • Sen. James Lankford (R-OK): “The Senate nomination process needs to function efficiently again. Presidents, regardless of their party, should be able to pick their staff. It’s the Senate’s role to ensure nominees are capable and qualified; we have a responsibility to provide advice and consent. Needless obstruction of that process is a failure of our duty.” [Blunt And Lankford Press Release, 02/16/19]
  • Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI): “An administration that is denied its nominees will be unfairly and unnecessarily crippled. We should not sit idly by in the post-nuclear world imposed by Reid and accept the dysfunctional confirmation process or allow these significant problems to remain unaddressed.” [Washington Post, 07/28/17]
  • Senator Rob Portman (R-OH): “I have long argued that every president — no matter the party — should be given considerable leeway when it comes to putting together his or her team.” [Columbus Dispatch, 02/07/17]


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