Senate Continues to Make Headway in the Personnel Business

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks on the Senate floor regarding the need to confirm more of the president’s well-qualified nominees:

“The Senate is continuing to make headway in the personnel business. This week we are confirming a number of President Trump’s thoroughly qualified nominees to important vacancies in the federal courts and in the administration. As I’ve said, it’s unfortunate for this institution that our Democratic colleagues have made it their routine practice to require not just roll-call votes, but cloture votes as well, on non-controversial nominees for lower-profile positions.

“Regular cloture votes on district judges. Cloture votes on Assistant Secretaries. Later this week, a cloture vote on an Assistant EPA Administrator. These are the sorts of important but lower-profile positions that the Senate used to quickly process by voice vote. When these sorts of people were qualified, they were voice-voted — by Senates of both parties, for presidents of both parties. That was the norm. But new partisan hurdles won’t deter the Senate from doing our job. We will continue to spend the time it takes to put impressive, impartial men and women on the federal judiciary and give the president — more than two years into his administration — more of his team in place in the executive branch.

“Yesterday afternoon we voted to advance the nomination of Daniel Bress to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Mr. Bress comes with strong credentials: the academic pedigree, the legal experience, and most importantly a demonstrated commitment to the rule of law. So I’m glad we voted to advance his nomination yesterday and I urge all my colleagues to vote to confirm him today. Next, we’ll consider three district court nominees: T. Kent Wetherell to the Northern District of Florida, Damon Leichty to the Northern District of Indiana, and Nicholas Ranjan to the Western District of Pennsylvania.

“And after them, we will confirm several nominees to serve in the administration: Robert King, to be an Assistant Secretary of Education; John Pallasch, to be an Assistant Secretary of Labor; and Peter Wright, to be an Assistant Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. In each of these cases, the president has presented us with thoroughly well-qualified individuals to serve the nation in these important roles. This week, the Senate will give them the straightforward consideration -- and confirmations -- they deserve.”