As the Biden administration passes 75 days in office, Accountable Senate War Room looks back on the unprecedented obstruction from Senate Republicans around Biden’s Cabinet nominees
Dead-set on waging war against his many qualified nominees, Senate Republicans used procedure, smear tactics, attack ads, and more to try sink Biden’s nominees, but failed as one after another was confirmed with bipartisan support
Government watchdog group Accountable.US launched the Senate War Room in November 2020 to fight back against the expected attacks from Republican senators, and in the process shined a light on the true motivations behind this obstruction: protecting their special interest donors
Accountable Senate War Room: “The American people saw through these flimsy lines of attack, and were reminded that Senate Republicans’ loyalty lies not with workers and families, but with the special interests and wealthy donors that foot the bill for their political campaigns.”
Washington, D.C. – Today, the Accountable Senate War Room released a report marking the first 75 days of the Biden administration that highlights Senate Republicans’ months of delays, smears, and attempts to sink President Biden’s many crisis-tested Cabinet secretaries from being confirmed, and their ultimate failure in doing anything more than delaying the inevitable confirmation of these qualified officials. This report comes on the heels of months of work holding Senate Republicans accountable for their obstruction, and exposes the real reason behind their staunch opposition to President Biden’s Cabinet secretaries: they are beholden to their special interest donors, not the American people.
“Senate Republicans spent months lobbing one bad faith attack after another against Biden’s slate of qualified nominees. They gave it their best shot, but ultimately failed to do anything more than delay the inevitable bipartisan confirmation of Biden’s Cabinet secretaries, and were left with nothing to show for their months of delays,” said Mairead Lynn, spokesperson for Accountable Senate War Room. “The American people saw through these flimsy lines of attack, and were reminded that Senate Republicans’ loyalty lies not with workers and families, but with the special interests and wealthy donors that foot the bill for their political campaigns.”
President Biden faced unprecedented obstruction from Senate Republicans almost immediately. In the months between the November election and the Georgia runoff elections, Senate Republicans warned of tough confirmation battles for the incoming administration. At the same time, they were already beginning their obstruction by refusing to move the confirmation process forward during the lame duck period — a bipartisan tradition that goes back generations. The procedural obstruction didn’t stop there: soon-to-be Minority Leader McConnell refused for weeks to agree to a simple organizing resolution that would hand Democrats the committee gavels that would allow them to get to the work their Republican colleagues refused to do. In the midst of dual public health and economic crises, Senate Republicans’ failure to act left President Biden without many of his top officials, including his Health and Human Services secretary, for months.
Outside of procedural delays, Republican senators took aim at individual nominees in an effort to sink their confirmation. These bad-faith efforts ranged from attack ads, to purposeful misrepresentations or exaggerations of their personal beliefs, to full-blown smear campaigns. Their behavior during hearings wasn’t much better: Senate Republicans made a show of their disdain for the nominees, using the time to hash out personal grievances, many gaining national attention for their disrespectful and aggressive tone. While these tactics failed because President Biden nominated a slate of qualified individuals to serve alongside him, Accountable Senate War Room shined a light on how far Senate Republicans are willing to go for their special interests and wealthy donors.
The Accountable Senate War Room has been sounding the alarm about Republican obstructionism since before Biden took office, and has worked to hold these senators accountable every day since. From holding press calls with key movement leaders to call for a quick confirmation of these nominees, to using their own words against them to call out these hypocritical attacks, to bringing national attention to their obstruction, the Accountable Senate War Room has not only held these senators to account, but has worked to expose their prioritization of their special interest donors over their constituents.
Read the report and how the Senate War Room held these Republican senators accountable here.