Bloomberg Politics reports that Senate Democrats say only as many four of President-elect Trump’s cabinet nominees “could” be confirmed on Inauguration Day Friday.
The four the Democrats are willing to confirm on Friday include retired Marine Corps General James Mattis, whose nomination to be Secretary of Defense was approved by the Senate Armed Services Committee on a 26-1 vote Wednesday. New York Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand was the sole no vote.
The other three currently being negotiated over are Transportation Secretary-designate Elaine Chao, Department of Homeland Security Secretary-designate retired Marine Corps General John F. Kelly, and CIA Director-designate Mike Pompeo.
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters the GOP goal of seven confirmation votes is unacceptable. Seven is the number the then Democrat-controlled Senate confirmed for President Obama on his first inauguration in 2008 — is unacceptable.
Schumer is complaining about the process about the process, but Republicans now control the Senate 52-48, and the Democrats lack the votes to block any of Trump’s Cabinet choices on their own after the Democrats changed the Senate rules in 2013 and ended filibusters on executive branch nominations.
Nevertheless, the Democrats can still delay confirmations because they can force debate for up to 30 hours on each Cabinet nominee.