Republicans were busted on the Meet The Press and Face The Nation for hyping Ebola fears while refusing to confirm President Obama’s nominee to be Surgeon General.
Video of Sen. Blunt on Meet The Press:
CHUCK TODD: Senator, I’m going to go back to the surgeon general issue here. This seems to be politics. The NRA said they were going to score the vote, and suddenly everybody’s frozen. That seems a little petty in hindsight, does it not?
SENATOR ROY BLUNT: Well, you know, if the president really ought to nominate people that can be confirmed to these jobs, and frankly, then we should confirm them. There’s no question about that. But just a normal worker of conscious–
CHUCK TODD: But should the NRA have a say? I mean, they can have an opinion. But should the NRA have that much influence over a surgeon general nominee? He’s not going to make gun policy.
SENATOR ROY BLUNT: Well, I’m not sure that’s why, you’d have to ask Senator Reid why he hasn’t moved that to the top of his list to be confirmed. This goes on all the time.
CHUCK TODD: Will you confirm him?
SENATOR ROY BLUNT: A number of people have been confirmed. Until this came up, frankly, I’ve heard very little discussion about the surgeon general. You know, I’m hearing now that the attorney general nomination won’t happen until after the election. We keep putting everything off until after the election. And that’s one of the reasons that things don’t work.
On Face The Nation, Bob Schieffer asked Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) a similar question.
SCHIEFFER: Let me just ask you this. Republicans, people in Congress have been very critical of the president. And yet, the Congress can’t even break the gridlock long enough to confirm a surgeon general, which is supposed to be the top health office in the country.
I know that’s what the confirmation process takes part…
SCHIEFFER: — and place in the Senate. You’re a member of the House.
SCHIEFFER: But give me your thoughts on that.
BLACKBURN: Yes, you know, I think that what you have in the House is bipartisan frustration with Harry Reid in the Senate. You know, we have 387 House-passed bills, 98 percent of them bipartisan, 298 of those bills veto-proof. And they’re sitting on Harry Reid’s desk.
And we find it very frustrating that the Senate has not been able to get the work done. We wish they would come back and that they would do that. It would help the country and it would get some things passed that need to be passed.
Both Republicans never answered the question about why their party is blocking the president’s Surgeon General nominee. Instead, they both went into the standard Republican soft shoe routine of blaming President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
The truth is that Sen. Rand Paul has a hold on the nomination, so until the Kentucky senator lifts his hold, there can’t be a confirmation vote. Senate Republicans are preventing the nation from having a Surgeon General during the Ebola outbreak.
Republicans can’t have it both ways. They can’t spread Ebola fears, and blame President Obama for the response. Republicans cut infectious disease preparedness funding and federal, state, and local levels. Republicans are blocking the president’s nominee to be Surgeon General because the NRA told them to.
Republicans might end up regretting trying to make Ebola a campaign issue, because GOP their tactic is highlighting the fact that their obstruction and budget cuts are a big part of the problem.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association