Senate Democrat Obstruction: Canceled August Recess & Low Overall Confirmation Rate

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced this afternoon the Senate's August recess has been cancelled due to the historic obstruction efforts from Senate Democrats. Leader McConnell's statement: 

Due to the historic obstruction by Senate Democrats of the president’s nominees, and the goal of passing appropriations bills prior to the end of the fiscal year, the August recess has been canceled. Senators should expect to remain in session in August to pass legislation, including appropriations bills, and to make additional progress on the president’s nominees.

Background: It is expected that Senators will have a state work period during the first full week in August before returning for the rest of the month. 

Earlier this week, on Saturday, June 2nd, President Trump said in his weekly address to the public that the Democratic resistance movement is “resisting the will of the American voter.” According the White House, when compared with recent presidents, President Trump has had the fewest nominees confirmed to date.

PolitiFact found that President Trump has also had the smallest percentage of nominees confirmed as of March 16th with only 57 percent of Trump’s nominees having been confirmed, below that of Presidents Barack Obama (67 percent), George W. Bush (78 percent), Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush (each with 81 percent).

President Trump explained:

From day one, Senate Democrats have shamelessly obstructed, stalled, and filibustered the confirmations of hundreds of talented men and women who are eager to come to Washington, D.C. to make a difference. They want to serve our country.

My nominees face a longer average confirmation wait than any in the history of our country. Today, more than 300 of our nominees are still awaiting a vote.

Last June, I nominated Isabel Patelunas to serve as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Intelligence and Analysis. Now, almost a year later, this tremendously qualified professional with nearly three decades of intelligence experience is still awaiting confirmation. She’s given up so much. She’s left areas. She’s moved from homes and she’s still not confirmed. It’s a disgrace.

Senate Republicans are fighting back against this Democrat obstructionism, too. Chairman Chuck Grassley of the Senate Judiciary Committee stated on Friday the Senate should work into the August recess to help confirm judicial nominations. Chairman Grassley is also calling for ‘filibuster Fridays’ to speed up the confirmation process. Additional work days on Capitol Hill could help fill the vacant positions, but the true shame here is that the Democrat leadership is intent on playing partisan politics even if it harms the function of government and ultimately the American people.

President Trump has nominated many excellent nominees to lead our government and to become federal judges. The RNLA thanks Leader McConnell and Chairman Grassley for their leadership and initiative to confirm President Trump’s backlog of nominees pending before the Senate.