Senate Gears Up for Flurry of Confirmation Hearings This Week

Shaub's letter outlined concerns regarding the speed of the Senate confirmation hearings schedule, and that several nominees had not completed the ethics review process. It's not unusual to have five confirmation hearings in one day - it happened for both President Barack Obama and President George W. Bush's nominees - but on Wednesday the Senate is alsoset to hold a vote-a-rama that could kick off the repeal of Obamacare, and Trump is scheduled to hold his first post-election press conference.

"It has left some of the nominees with potentially unknown or unresolved ethics issues shortly before their scheduled hearings", Walter Shaub Jr. wrote in the letter obtained by CBS News. Several of Trump's picks have not completed full checks from the Office of Government Ethics.

Some Democrats may indeed feel that way, but McConnell is nonetheless evading a serious issue: Trump has nominated so many extraordinarily wealthy and politically connected people that background checks by the Office of Government Ethics and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are taking longer than they otherwise might.

Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, to then Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, urging him to postpone confirmation hearings until OGE letters were completed and submitted to the committees of jurisdiction.

Citing the importance of the new president having his national-security team in place immediately, Republican leaders are intent on seating as many of Trump's Cabinet picks as possible by the time he takes office on January 20.

Politically, Democrats have little hope of blocking Trump's nominees without help from Republicans. "I understand that. But we need to, sort of, grow up here and get past that".

Members of the soon-to-be Trump administration are heading into battle this week, as a slew of confirmation hearings for the president-elect's top Cabinet officials begin on Capitol Hill.

Bills' Tyrod Taylor undergoes core muscle surgery after all
The "elected" part makes it sound like Taylor didn't really need surgery but perhaps had it for other reasons. This means if Taylor doesn't pass a physical in March, Buffalo would be on the hook for a large sum of cash.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was quick to point out that Democrats confirmed seven of President Obama's nominees on the first day of his administration in 2009.

"I mean, when Senator Schumer says that he is going to allow the vacancy in the Supreme Court to take as long as he wants, and he's going to hold up cabinet secretaries, and he's targeting eight of them when only just a few short years ago, it was the Democrats that were saying, we needed to move swiftly to approve these cabinet secretaries".

Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions and Homeland Security nominee, retired Gen. John Kelly, are set for hearings on Tuesday.

"Our caucus.thinks it's absolutely essential that the U.S. Senate has a chance to appropriately vet the nominees, and the American people deserve to hear their views and qualifications in public hearings", Sen.

"In the past, the ethics work was fully completed prior to the announcement of nominees in the overwhelming majority of cases ... and, therefore, there was no opportunity for undue influence on the independent ethics review process", Shaub wrote.

McConnell's cavalier attitude toward the ethics process belies the fact that it is Republicans who have the most to lose.

But the disclosure from the Office of Government Ethics comes from an outside agency and indicates that at least some nominees have not yet met a significant and important requirement.

  • Megan Austin