President-elect Joe Biden is daring Senate Republicans with Cabinet picks and nominees who’ve grated on the celebration but in addition have flaws that might now give the GOP a straightforward out for rejecting them.
Why it issues: Familiar faces like Denis McDonough, Tom Vilsack and Neera Tanden could also be consolation meals for the president-elect’s soul, however they’re flashbacks to an period whereby Republicans sought to hinder Democratic folks and insurance policies.
“They’re more likely to lose a major variety of Republican votes,” mentioned former Republican Sen. John Sununu of New Hampshire. “And relying on precisely how the Democrats within the Senate reply to the problems, and resolve to vote themselves, these are nominees that might discover themselves in bother.”
- Biden picked McDonough to be secretary of Veterans Affairs though the previous White House chief of workers has by no means served within the U.S. navy.
- Vilsack has been tapped for Agriculture secretary regardless of holding the job for each of President Obama’s phrases, and after most lately incomes practically $1 million a 12 months heading a dairy advocacy group.
- Tanden has been pegged for the Senate-confirmable publish of director of the Office of Management and Budget with out main governmental budgeting expertise — and following eight years of caustic anti-Republican tweets.
Transition spokesperson Andrew Bates mentioned, “President-elect Biden has introduced examined, certified nominees who can meet this second of unrelenting disaster and are able to hit the bottom working on Day One, attain throughout the aisle and ship fast aid for the American folks.”
Sen. John Cornyn’s communication director tweeted final week that Tanden “stands zero likelihood” of being confirmed. The Texas Republican himself advised Axios’ Alayna Treene: “I assume it is a actually a misstep by the administration.”
Many particular person Democratic constituencies are also sad with a few of Biden’s selections. That may spell collective bother for him when a Cabinet that’s speculated to “seem like America“ is accomplished within the subsequent couple weeks.
Black Democrats are upset Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) was handed over for Agriculture and tapped for what some understand as a token African American slot: secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
- The Congressional Black Caucus had lobbied for Fudge to move Ag because the company doesn’t simply assist farmers however devotes sources to packages offering meals and different help to poor households.
- The CBC now faces the prospect of a white man or girl heading the Justice Department amid discuss Judge Merrick Garland, Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) or former Assistant Attorney General Sally Yates are finalists for lawyer normal.
The president-elect additionally chosen Lloyd Austin to function Defense secretary though the retired normal would require a waiver as a result of he has not been out of the armed forces for seven years.
- Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Jon Tester of Montana — all Democrats — told The Hill they’re against granting the waiver. Sens. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York additionally oppose it.
A supply near Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell beforehand advised Axios the highly effective Republican will not help any “radical progressives” for the Cabinet.
His true energy, although, hangs on the result of two particular elections in Georgia subsequent month. If the GOP wins only one, it should give the celebration no less than a 51-49 majority, simply sufficient — theoretically — to dictate affirmation outcomes.
- Two losses will end in a 50-50 cut up, empowering Vice President Kamala Harris to solid tie-breaking votes in favor of Biden’s nominees.
Flashback: McConnell already confirmed with his latest Supreme Court strong-arming he isn’t afraid to behave with impunity — as long as he has the votes to back it up.