Senator Elizabeth Warren told Republicans today to do their jobs and stop bowing to the extremists running their party who “refuse to recognize the legitimacy of our democratically-elected President.”
In a scathing floor speech, Warren charged Republicans to stop blockading a Supreme Court Justice nominee to replace Justice Scalia.
Saying that they were totally forgetting the Constitution in their refusal to even hear an Obama nominee, Warren pointed out that they are afraid of the two extremists running for President on the Republican ticket yet they are catering to those same extremists by denying Obama the legitimacy of his presidency.
“Now, these are not separate issues. They are the same issue. If Republican senators want to stand up to extremists running for President, they can start right now by standing up to extremists in the Senate,” Warren said. “They can start by doing what they were elected to do right here in the Senate. They can start by doing their jobs.”
“The refusal of Republican Senators to execute the most basic constitutional duties of their office is shocking – but it is not new,” the Democratic Senator from Massachusetts intoned.
Warren mocked Republicans for acting as if the Constitution had a “secret clause that says ‘…except when that President is a Democrat.'”
Then Warren really got to the point. This is nothing new. For seven years, Republicans have catered to those who reject President Obama’s legitimacy and this is no different.
“But for seven years, that is how Republicans in the Senate have acted. Since the first day of the Obama presidency, Republican Senators have bowed to extremists who reject his legitimacy and abuse the rules of the Senate in an all-out effort to cripple his Administration and to paralyze the federal courts.”
“The Constitution directs senators to provide advice and consent on the President’s nominees, and every senator swore an oath to uphold the Constitution,” Warren challenged her Republican colleagues.
Then Warren went on a tear of nominations Republicans have deliberately denied this President:
For years, Republicans have executed a strategy to delay votes on confirming government officials across the board. In 2013, only one year into President Obama’s second term, Republican leaders flatly rejected his authority to confirm any judges to fill any of three open seats on the second-highest court in the country, and Democrats had to change the filibuster rules in order to move those nominees forward. Once Republicans took over the Senate in 2015, judicial confirmations nearly ground to a halt.
And it’s not just judges. For months after the President won re-election, Republicans held up his nominees to run the Department of Labor and the EPA, largely on the suspicion that those highly qualified individuals might actually help those agencies do their work.
For years, Republicans held up nominees to the National Labor Relations Board – even Republican nominees – in order to cripple the ability of that 80 year-old agency to resolve disputes between workers and their bosses.
For years, Republicans held up the President’s choice to run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, refusing to confirm anyone unless the President would agree to gut the agency.
Republicans regularly hold up the confirmation of dozens of ambassadors, undermining our national security and our relationships with other nations.
Last year, Republicans blocked confirmation of the Attorney General, the highest law enforcement official in this country, blocked her for 166 days – that’s longer than it took the Senate to consider the prior seven Attorneys General combined.
For more than a year, the Republican Chairman of the Banking Committee hasn’t held a single vote on any of the sixteen Presidential nominees sitting on his desk, not even nominees who are critical to maintaining the financial stability of this country or the ones who are responsible for choking off the flow of money to ISIS.
Yeah, that’s not looking like a one-off.
Warren said no matter how much it hurt the nation, “Senate Republicans do pretty much everything they can to avoid acknowledging the legitimacy of our democratically-elected President.”
Then Warren went to the dark place reminding Republicans that unlike their last President, Barack Obama actually won election and re-election fair and square, “(E)xtremists might not like it, but Barack Obama won the Presidency in 2008 by nine million votes. He won re-election in 2012 by five million votes,” she said. “There were no recounts and no hanging chads, no stuffing the ballot box or tampering with voting machines, no intervention by the United States Supreme Court.”
“No. President Obama was elected the legitimate President seven years ago, and he is the legitimate President right now.”
Warren ended by demanding that Senate Republicans do their job:
Do your job: Vote on a Supreme Court nominee.
Do your job: Vote on District Court judges and Circuit Court judges.
Do your job: Vote on ambassadors.
Do your job: Vote on agency leaders and counterterrorism officials.
Warren closed reminding Republicans they could show this President a little respect. “If you want to stop extremism in your party, you can start by showing the American people that they you respect the President of the United State and the Constitution enough to do your job, right here, in the United States Senate.”
Booyah. Elizabeth Warren just burned down the Senate with some truth. Republicans are catering to the birther extremists in denying President Obama’s legitimacy. They are Donald Trump. Each and every one of them.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.