HIGHLIGHTS: What Happened This Week In Confirmation Hearings

Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington Tuesday, July 27, 2010, to testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on his nomination to be commander of the U.S. Central Command. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

This week, between the media flare-ups and the sordid accusations, we had a series of confirmation hearings for the potential Trump Cabinet. We heard testimony from Jeff Sessions, retired Gen. James Mattis, Ben Carson, Elaine Chao, Mike Pompeo, and Rex Tillerson.


As expected, the Democrats put up a feeble resistance when it came to some of the candidates, but the only one who faced stiff opposition was Rex Tillerson… and his fiercest opponent was Marco Rubio.

Below are the recaps of each hearing, along with links to previous RedState posts so you can read about them in greater detail.

Jeff Sessions:

Senator Jeff Sessions was the first up for hearings, having to square off against some of his own colleagues in the process. Sessions held his own against his fellow Senators, including Cory Booker, who used the opportunity to seemingly kick off his 2020 presidential campaign. He has expressed concern over potential racial issues, despite having worked alongside Sessions in the Senate and praising him previously on civil rights issues.

Rex Tillerson:

Tillerson comes in as one of the most controversial picks on both sides of the aisle, given his and his company’s work with Russia in the past. Marco Rubio was tough in his questioning of the nominee. Of the nominees who have had hearings so far, most of the speculation is over whether or not it’s Tillerson who doesn’t get approval.

Elaine Chao:

The wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and former Secretary of Labor, Elaine Chao’s nomination has faced little opposition. There was little fanfare over her hearing, and little coverage to go with it. Most media speculation is that Chao is sailing right along to approval.


Mike Pompeo:

Another somewhat contentious hearing, although Kamala Harris of California vowed to be the hearing’s comic relief. During the questioning, Harris asked Pompeo if he believed in man-made global warming and stated that she wanted a CIA Director who believed all of the scientific evidence. So we definitely had that going for us as a nation.

Ben Carson:

Surprisingly awake during the hearing Ben Carson actually handled the process like a champ… despite the protests from LGBT groups, who oppose Carson because some homeless people are gay. Carson seems very likely to be formally accepted as HUD Director under Donald Trump.

Retired Gen. James Mattis:

According to the AP Style, you are only supposed to use someone’s title once, and after the first mention, you just go with the last name. However, I feel very convinced that if Retired Gen. James Mattis saw this post, and he wasn’t identified with the proper respect every time, then he might find me and kill me. Mattis essentially had two hearings this week, but only gave testimony in one – his confirmation hearing. He had another hurdle to clear in getting a waiver from Congress to serve as Secretary of Defense. However, almost immediately after his testimony in the confirmation hearing was over, the Senate Armed Services Committee overwhelmingly approved the waiver. The House followed suit, and President Barack Obama has indicated he will sign it.


Coming Up Next Week:

The big hearing next week is on Tuesday, January 17th, and it is for one of the nominees the Democrats seem to hate the most: Betsy DeVos. If you click here, you can catch our coverage of DeVos, what she believes, and what insanely hypocritical and partisan Democrats are saying about her. Andy Puzder (Secretary of Labor) and Nikki Haley (U.N. Ambassador) have hearings tentatively scheduled for Tuesday as well.


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