PROVIDENCE — With Rhode Island in a state of suspended animation awaiting Gov. Gina Raimondo’s departure, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse are pushing for a vote on her nomination to be President Biden’s commerce secretary.
And Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer stated Tuesday: that vote might come “early subsequent week.”
On Monday night time at 7:29 p.m., Whitehouse tweeted that: “Things are shifting.”
He stated he had signed a “cloture petition,” which is a legislative process that can be utilized to end debate or, in a case such as this, bring a matter to a vote.
His full tweet: “I simply signed the cloture petition to deliver Gov. Raimondo’s nomination as Secretary of Commerce to the Floor. Things are shifting. This is an excellent signal.”
A spokesman for Reed, Rhode Island’s senior senator, confirmed that “Reed is the one who initiated the petition and was the primary signer.”
On Tuesday, Schumer supplied this replace on the Senate ground on nominations awaiting votes: “We additionally hope to do Gina Raimondo, Secretary nominee for Secretary of Commerce, early subsequent week.”
“Each of those nominees has obtained bipartisan assist in committee. Each of those nominees is undoubtedly certified for their positions, a stark departure from the caliber of nominees the Senate was made to think about in the course of the earlier administration,” Schumer stated.
“These cupboard positions and companies have an immense affect over the insurance policies of the United States, impacting lots of of tens of millions of American lives. At a time of acute nationwide problem, we want certified leaders atop our federal companies and quick,” he stated.
Raimondo’s nomination has been pending since a February 3 vote by the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, earlier than the impeachment trial.
The Raimondo nomination just isn’t but on the Senate’s calendar, nonetheless, and Rhode Island is in limbo awaiting her departure and Lt. Gov. Dan McKee’s swearing-in as her alternative for the 22 months or so remaining in her time period.
The logistical difficulties of getting one governor on her approach out — and the subsequent not but in place — led Raimondo to sign an executive order on Monday turning her constitutionally granted state budget-writing responsibilities over to McKee. The Rhode Island Constitution requires the governor to arrange and suggest an annual funds to the General Assembly.
A tax-and-spending plan for the 12 months starting July 1 is due by state regulation no later than March 11.
On Monday, Schumer laid out the first orders of business for the week, together with ultimate votes on a number of presidential nominees. The listing included Linda Thomas-Greenfield to function the subsequent United Nations ambassador and Tom Vilsack to function secretary of agriculture, a publish he held within the Obama administration.
“For the remainder of the week, we’ll proceed to course of members of the President’s Cabinet,” Schumer stated Monday. “First, Jennifer Granholm to function the Secretary of Energy; second, Dr. Miguel Cardona to function the Secretary of Education. Both nominees have been superior by the respective committees with bipartisan votes — a sample this week,” Schumer stated.
It stays unclear what sensible impact, if any, the try by Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas to position a 30-hour “maintain” on Raimondo’s nomination can have.
Cruz invoked this Senate process out a priority for what he and different China hardliners described as a non-committal reply from Raimondo, during her confirmation hearing, on backlisting Chinese telecom giant Huawei.
“I’ll lift the hold when the Biden admin commits to keep the massive Chinese Communist Party spy operation Huawei on the Entity List,” Cruz tweeted in response to a report from Bloomberg Business that he had blocked a vote on Raimondo.