Democrats Give Trump An Un-Merry Christmas With Vetting Principles For His Nominees

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The ranking members of 16 Senate Committees issued a statement that outlined the principles that should be used to vet Trump’s nominees. The principles became necessary as reports are growing that the president-elect’s nominees are withholding information from Senate Committees.

Here is the statement from the Senators*:

“The United States Senate has a rich, bipartisan tradition of vetting nominees to the President’s Cabinet. We hope to continue that tradition with our colleagues in the Republican Majority because the American people are entitled to a fair and open consideration process for all executive nominations. Therefore, a Cabinet nomination should only proceed to a mark-up in Committee if:

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The nominee has cleared an FBI background check

The nominee provides a completed financial disclosure statement and ethics agreement signed by the Office of Government Ethics

The nominee has satisfied reasonable requests for additional information and Members have time to review that material.”

The New York Times reported that because Trump’s nominees have so many financial entanglements, the vetting process is going very slowly. The speed of the vetting hasn’t been helped by the fact some of Trump’s nominees are submitting incomplete forms, or in the case of Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions leaving things off of the forms intentionally.

Trump was the least transparent presidential candidate in modern history so that it is no surprise that his nominees are following his lead. Senate Democrats are going to make sure that Trump’s nominees don’t get rubber stamp approval in the Senate.

If Republicans don’t vet Trump’s nominees, Democrats will do it for them, and Trump may not like what they find.

*The Senators who signed the statement are listed below:

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown
Ranking Member, Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs

U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell
Ranking Member, Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources

U.S. Senator Ben Cardin
Ranking Member, Senate Committee on Foreign Relations

U.S. Senator Tom Carper
Ranking Member, Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works

U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein
Ranking Member, Senate Committee on the Judiciary

U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill
Ranking Member, Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee

U.S. Senator Patty Murray
Ranking Member, Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions

U.S. Senator Bill Nelson
Ranking Member, Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation

U.S. Senator Jack Reed
Ranking Member, Senate Committee on Armed Services

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders
Ranking Member, Senate Committee on the Budget

U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen
Ranking Member, Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow
Ranking Member, Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry

U.S. Senator Jon Tester
Ranking Member, Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs

U.S. Senator Tom Udall
Ranking Member, Senate Committee on Indian Affairs

U.S. Senator Mark Warner
Ranking Member, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence

U.S. Senator Ron Wyden
Ranking Member, Senate Committee on Finance