Politico: Alexander blasts Democrats for holding up Education nominees

Posted on January 31, 2018

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today blamed Democrats for the lack of senior officials in the Education Department and other federal agencies.

Alexander at a hearing of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which he chairs, said the Trump administration used to share the blame, because it was slow to make nominations.

"But not any more," he said. "The responsibility lies solely with the Democratic minority, which is insisting on taking most of one week to confirm each nominee, knowing that there is not that much time for nominations on the Senate floor."

Alexander said there are 103 nominations on the executive calendar awaiting consideration by the Senate, not counting judicial nominees. He said that on Nov. 21, 2013, "when Democrats thought the confirmation backlog was dire enough to use the nuclear option to break the Senate rules," there were just 76 nominations on the calendar. Under the nuclear option, only a 51-vote majority is needed to confirm a nominee.”

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