On Thursday afternoon, Senate Republican leadership stated that they will allow individual members of their caucus to leave town on Friday instead of stay in Washington and vote on the remaining Presidential nominees still on the slate before the Senate recesses for the year. Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) confirmed to his fellow Senate Republicans that there will be a handful of GOP Senators that will stick around and make sure that debate continues for each and every nominee. If they stick to this plan, the vote for the last major nominee will be around 6 PM ET on Saturday.
As I wrote earlier on Thursday, Republicans have been whining that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is going to force the Senate to get through all of the nominees on his list before ending this session. Of course, the only reason that it is going to take through the weekend to get through all of the nominations is because Senate Republicans decided to throw a temper tantrum over Reid’s use of the ‘nuclear option’ and they’ve decided to bring up debate on every single one of them this month. They were hoping that Reid would flinch, and when he didn’t and told them all they would stay until the end, they got all bent out of shape that their little gambit didn’t work.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) has already confirmed that she will be leaving after the Senate voted on the Defense Authorization Bill late Thursday night. She will not be alone. Sen. Jim Inhofe tried to elicit sympathy by displaying a huge photo of his family on the Senate floor and then saying this:
“I would sure like those 20 kids and grandkids [who] are waiting for me for a big dinner on our 54th wedding anniversary tomorrow night. So have mercy, give us a break and let’s try to get this thing voted on and go home.”
Awwwww. That big, ol’ mean Harry Reid is keeping Inhofe from enjoying the holidays with his family. Why, that ain’t American! How dare Reid keep these hard-working patriots away from their families? It isn’t like these are the same people who gummed up the works and caused the situation in the first place? And even if they are, IT’S CHRISTMAS! Have a heart, Harry! Have a heart.
In the end, the Republican leadership came through for their members and told them they can skip town with their tails between their legs like the cowards they all truly are. Reid has already rallied the Democrats and convinced them to stay until they get through confirming Janet Yellen to lead the Federal Reserve on Saturday night. It appears that Reid may hold off on a handful of lesser nominees until January rather than have all the Dems stay through Sunday.
The nominees that may have to wait until January to be confirmed are Sarah Bloom Raskin for Deputy Secretary of the Treasury; Sloan Gibson for Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs; Michael Connor for Deputy Secretary on Interior Affairs; and Sarah Sewall for a State position. If Reid decides to push through on those nominations, the debate time is short and they can get done by Sunday. Also, these are nominees that lack the luster of the main nominees and the handful of Republicans that stay may just throw in the towel on these ones by Saturday and allow them to go without a fight.
Justin Baragona is the Managing Editor at Politicus Sports as well as Senior Editor at PoliticusUSA. He was a political writer for 411Mania.com before joining PoliticusUSA. Politically, Justin considers himself a liberal but also a realist and pragmatist. Currently, Justin lives in St. Louis, MO and is married. Besides writing, he also runs his own business after spending a number of years in the corporate world. You can follow Justin on Twitter either with his personal handle (@justinbaragona) or the Sports site’s (@PoliticusSports).