From an editorial Wednesday on Bloomberg View:
Why is Sen. Chuck Schumer doing President Donald Trump a favor? The Senate minority leader’s delaying tactics for the president’s nominees are not only uncalled for, but they also distract from the White House’s historic ineptitude at filling the senior ranks of government.
So far, the Trump administration has made 163 fewer nominations than former President Barack Obama at the same point, and 124 fewer than George W. Bush. Moreover, many of Trump’s picks have been slowed by incomplete paperwork and ethics declarations, and at least seven have withdrawn, either under pressure from media scrutiny or for personal reasons.
That’s nothing to be proud of. Neither are the Democrats’ tactics – insisting on clock-killing cloture votes, for example, or not showing up for committee sessions. These maneuvers seem especially egregious since the Democrats often end up voting for those in question. Trump’s nominees are waiting longer for confirmation (43 days, versus 35 days under Obama and 24 under Bush), and the backlog of those awaiting confirmation is growing.
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Yes, it’s hard to muster much sympathy for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who subjected a prospective attorney general to the longest confirmation wait for any Cabinet nominee and outright refused to hold hearings for a highly qualified Supreme Court candidate.
In this case, however, turnabout isn’t fair play – at least not for the American public. Government doesn’t work when nobody’s home, and a president’s nominees deserve the consideration of timely hearings and up-or-down votes.