Kentucky Senator and current Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has gone out of his way recently to make it crystal clear that he and his people in Congress intend to make it as difficult as possible for President-Elect Joe Biden to confirm a single individual to his Cabinet. There’s no doubt that these petty fools will be going to their graves still holding a grudge against Biden’s win against their Dear Leader Donald Trump.
However, according to a new report from POLITICO, not only does Biden anticipate the Senate’s unwillingness to cooperate, he’s already got one hell of a plan to circumvent Mitch McConnell’s nonsense. According to the report, Biden plans to focus on his lower-level nominees that aren’t subject to confirmation from the Senate, ultimately ensuring that his agencies will be well staffed with people he can trust and depend on no matter how petty the Senate wants to get.
“Concerned about Republicans slow-walking confirmation hearings for Cabinet appointees and hollowed-out federal agencies, Biden and his aides are eager to place mid-to-lower-level officials across the federal government, particularly in national security roles, to ensure his administration can begin to enact his agenda immediately, according to three people familiar with the situation,” Nahal Toosi, Tyler Pager, and Andrew Desiderio report for POLITICO. “By quickly selecting candidates for slots that don’t require Senate confirmation, such as deputy assistant secretaries, the transition team also can try to ensure that many of those hired can obtain security clearances by the time Biden takes office.”
“The shift in focus to filling positions that do not require confirmation reflects the urgency with which the Biden team sees its staffing conundrum — especially in the realm of national security, where there’s little room for error,” the report reads. “It also signals Biden’s anxiousness to replace Trump appointees and fill long-empty positions as soon as possible so he can enact his agenda.”
A select few of Biden’s nominees for major positions have garnered bipartisan support, such as former Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen for Secretary of the Treasury. However, Republicans have been quick to threaten a confirmation block for nominees such as former Hillary Clinton aide and think tank director Neera Tanden for the Office of Management and Budget.
But at the end of the day, Biden has made one thing clear — if it’s hardball they want, it’s hardball they’ll get.
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