Sunday, January 8, 2017

Ends and Means

In February 2009, less than a month after President Obama was sworn into office, the Republican leader in the Senate - Mitch McConnell, sent a letter to Harry Reid, leader of the Democrats in the Senate. I think Senator McConnell's request was a good idea then, and it is a good idea now. Here is a copy of the main points McConnell expected the Democrats to observe:

Letter of 2/12/2009 from Senator McConnell to Senator Reid about the standards to be met for considering Presidential nominees

1. The FBI background check is complete and submitted to the committee in time for review and prior to a hearing being noticed.
2. The Office of Government Ethics letter is complete and submitted to the committee in time for review and prior to a committee hearing.
3. Financial disclosure statements (and tax returns for applicable committees) are complete and submitted to committee for review prior to a hearing being noticed.
4. All committee questionnaires are complete and have been returned to the committee. A reasonable opportunity for follow-up questions has been afforded committee members, and nominees have answered, with sufficient time to review prior to a committee vote.
5. The nominee is willing to have committee staff interviews, where that has been the practice.
6. The nominee has had a hearing.
7. The nominee agrees to courtesy visits with members when requested.
8. The nominee has committed to cooperate the the Ranking Member on requests for information and transparency.
Why would the Republicans, now the majority in Congress, want to ignore, disregard, throw out the excellent rules they established for President Obama's nominees? They are doing everything they can to prevent the Democrats applying the same excellent standards to President Trump's nominees.

If you care about who will wield the power over the environment, taxes, the justice department, etc., then please call your Senators and ask that they observe the same good standards

UPDATE Jan 10, 2017

Chuck Schumer, Senate minority leader, sent Mitch McConnell's letter (above) back to Mitch requesting that McConnell's rules apply to the new president's nominees. The process, including the background done by the Ethics committee for every incoming administration for the past forty years, is to ensure the administration is not embarrassed by undisclosed malfeasance or conflicts of interest in its nominees. It is to protect the new administration, as well as the public interest.

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