Rules Committee Approves Resolution Addressing Sub-Cabinet Level Nominations

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today supported committee approval of a resolution to reduce Democratic delay tactics on scores of President Trump’s nominees to lead federal agencies.
Hyde-Smith serves on the Senate Rules and Administration Committee, which approved a resolution (S.Res.50) to improve procedures for the consideration of nominations in the Senate.  The measure was authored to overcome excess use of the cloture procedure to delay consideration of President Trump’s nominees—a tactic deployed 127 times in the last two years.
“Most nominees below the cabinet level are noncontroversial and deserve prompt consideration by the Senate,” Hyde-Smith said.  “For the past two years, Senate Democrats have forced needless delays on the nominations of well-qualified men and women.  This resolution would return the Senate to a normal practice of giving noncontroversial nominees an up-or-down vote without unnecessary delays.”
The resolution would permanently reduce the 30 hours of post-cloture debate time to two hours for most nominees, including many Executive Branch nominees and district court judges.  The resolution builds on a standing order introduced by former Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) that was in place during the 113th Congress.
During the first two years of Trump’s term, Democrats delayed action on nominees by filing cloture on 148 of President Trump’s nominees (62 Judicial and 86 Executive)—127 of which required votes.  In contrast, during the first two years of other presidencies, cloture petitions were filed on just four Clinton nominees, four George W. Bush nominees, and 10 Obama nominees.  In fact, just two cloture petitions were filed on Executive Branch nominations during the last two years of President Obama’s term when the Senate was under Republican control.
S.Res.50 would continue to allow 30 hours of post-cloture debate on high-level nominees, including Supreme Court Justices, circuit court judges, and Cabinet-level officials.
Approved on a party-line committee vote, S.Res.50 still requires approval by the full Senate.