Although Democrats hold a 51-seat majority of the Senate, that doesn’t mean Joe Biden’s nominees to federal office or the federal bench will be approved automatically. There have been several high-profile, embarrassing withdrawals of nominees for a variety reasons.
Some were too radical even for Democrats. Some were woefully incompetent. The interesting thing about these withdrawals, however, is that Senator Chuck Schumer, the Senate Majority Leader, and the White House blame Republicans for the nomination’s failures.
Recently, Phil Washington was made to withdraw from the nomination to the FAA administrator post. He was a former military officer, and the CEO of Denver International Airport. Washington claimed that he did not, despite the fact that it is required by law.
Washington had no aviation experience, which was embarrassing in light of the waiver issue. Senator Krysten Sinema (I-Ariz.), made reference to Washington’s lack of aviation experience in a statement. She stated that the administration should quickly nominate an FAA administrator with substantial aviation safety experience.
Biden has found the Commerce Committee to be a particularly sore spot.
Biden’s nominees have had a particularly rough ride on the Commerce Committee. Gigi Sohn, a FCC nominee, resigned earlier this month, after she was twice nominated for a spot on the commission by Biden. This is on top of many other confirmation fights that have consumed the first days of Congress.
The nomination of Julie Su to the head of the Labor Department will be the most talked about in the GOP in the next weeks. She had no Republican support for her vote to confirm her position as deputy Labor Secretary in 2021. Moderate Democrats will face pressure from her to resign, even though she received Democratic support back then.
Julie Su was the California’s labor secretary when more than $32 million in COVID-19 unemployed fraud took place before she was even confirmed to be undersecretary of labor. This could prove to be too much for many Democrats, including Bernie Sanders who said that she was looking forward to the hearing, and would like to see her confirmed.
It’s not exactly a ringing endorsement.
Sohn was a hacker partisan, tweeting insults and invective about Republicans. Good riddance, she. Not all Biden’s nominees to the federal bench receive universal approval.
Additionally, Michael Delaney (judicial nominee) is currently in limbo on Judiciary Committee because of absences. However, his nomination may not have enough votes to move on to Biden’s selection for the First Circuit Court of Appeal. The Judiciary Chair Dick Durbin (D.Ill.), stated that Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D.Calif.) was absent, so “I cannot consider nominees… A tie vote on the committee is a losing vote.”
Additionally, Senator Tommy Tuberville (R.Ala.) established a blockade for quick confirmation and promotion to Pentagon nominees. This was after the Defense Department had advanced policies that would allow troops access to abortion.
Biden’s inability get the people he wants on the bench or in office is a sign of how weak he really is. Biden’s inability to confirm second-tier nominees could backfire on him.