GOP Obstructs Interim Appointment To Judiciary Committee In Place Of Sen. Feinstein

In Washington, Democrats had few alternatives to advance some of President Joe Biden’s judicial nominees after Republicans rejected a Democratic proposal to temporarily replace California Sen. Dianne Feinstein on the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.

Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, opposed a proposal by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer that would have permitted Feinstein’s replacement on the panel while the Democrat recovers from shingles.

Republicans have countered the claim made by Democrats that they simply want a stand-in to expedite the nomination of the most partisan justices by pointing out that several of Biden’s choices have bipartisan support and are eligible for consideration on the Senate floor.

Graham objected, claiming that Democrats were attempting to “change the numbers on the committee in a way that I think would be harmful to the Senate, and to pass out a handful of judges that I think should never be on the bench.”

Democrats might still vote on the motion through roll call. However, the GOP appears united in its opposition to the proposal, so it would probably be defeated.

Following pressure from Democrats who are anxious about the judicial nominations and amid some calls for her resignation, Feinstein, 89, made the rare request last week.

GOP Obstructs Interim Appointment To Judiciary Committee In Place Of Sen. Feinstein

Democrats who want to utilize their majority to confirm as many of President Joe Biden’s judicial nominations as possible are having trouble with her absence from the Senate since February and her lack of a return date.

Before the vote, Schumer announced that Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin, a third-term senator from Maryland and a lawyer, would succeed Feinstein.

Schumer declined to comment when asked if he thought Feinstein should contemplate retiring, but added that after speaking with Feinstein, “she and I are both very hopeful that she will return soon.”

Earlier on Tuesday, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell referred to Feinstein’s request to be replaced on the panel while she recovers from shingles as “extremely unusual” and without precedent.

“Let’s be clear,” In remarks made on the Senate floor, McConnell. “Senate Republicans will not take part in sidelining a temporarily absent colleague off a committee just so Democrats can force through their very worst nominees.”

McConnell’s remarks followed Monday’s statements by a number of Republican senators saying they would not back the Democratic plan because they did not want to assist Democrats in confirming liberal judges and because they did not believe that senators should attempt to remove one of their own.

Republicans Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Susan Collins of Maine expressed the opinion that Democrats are unfairly pressuring Feinstein.

Collins stated that she and Feinstein are close friends and believe a “concerted campaign” has been launched to remove Feinstein from the judiciary committee. Collins declared, “I will have no part of that.”

Feinstein is facing increasing pressure to stand down from her position or resign. She has defended her effectiveness, but in recent years, her memory and cognitive health have come into question, and she has appeared weak.

After receiving criticism from liberals for how she handled the confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett, she declared in 2020 that she would step down as the leading Democrat on the judiciary panel.

Even though she was in line to become the governing party’s senior member and Senate president pro tempore, she declared earlier this year that she would not accept the position. Every day the Senate is opened by the president pro tempore, who also performs other formal functions.

Grassley, a seasoned committee member the same age as Feinstein, criticized Democrats for denying Feinstein the chance to lead the committee and attempting to remove her “because she’s old.”

“I don’t intend to give credence to that sort of anti-human treatment,” Grassley said.

Democrats would have a far easier time replacing Feinstein if she quit immediately because California Governor Gavin Newsom would do it.

After a senator’s predecessor has resigned or passed away, the Senate frequently approves the incoming senator’s committee assignments. However, requesting a temporary replacement due to illness is uncommon, if not unheard of.

Read more related articles on we publish on daily basis:

Democrats have demanded her complete resignation. She requested a temporary replacement immediately after Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., insisted that she resign from the Senate because it is “unacceptable” for her to skip votes to approve judges who may impact abortion rights, a top Democratic issue.

Feinstein is “a legend in California politics and a legend in the Senate chamber,” according to another member of the California delegation, Democratic Rep. Pete Aguilar, but her vote will be required as Congress attempts to increase the debt ceiling this year.

“I will say that our expectation as House Democrats is that every senator is going to need to participate,” he said, adding that “she should get to choose that timeline.”

Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Dick Durbin responded on Monday when asked if Feinstein should resign: “I’m not going to push her into any other decision.” Durbin had already lamented the unmoved nominees for his committee.

Republican Senator Richard Durbin urged them to “show a little kindness and care for their colleague.”

If the Senate approves her replacement on the panel, “I think we can take care of this issue, do it very quickly,” Durbin said. “I hope we can find 10 Republicans who will join us in that effort.”

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.