Republicans Vote To Block Nominations, Then Flip To Support Them

Top row: Brian Morris, Landya McCafferty, Heather Higginbottom. Bottom row: Deborah Lee James, Jeh Johnson, Anne Patterson.

Top row: Brian Morris, Landya McCafferty, Heather Higginbottom.
Bottom row: Deborah Lee James, Jeh Johnson, Anne Patterson.

Since Senator Reid and the Democratic Caucus voted to change the rules governing nominations, Senate Republicans have routinely voted to block nominations that they themselves support.

On six critical national security and judicial nominations, nearly all Senate Republicans opposed cloture. After voting to block confirmation of the nominations, more than half of Senate Republicans voted to confirm those same nominees. For example, Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James was denied cloture by 93% of the Senate Republican conference, but was then confirmed 79-6 moments later.

Minority Leader Mitch McConnell continues to lead the obstruction of what he calls “a bunch of non-essential nominations,” despite the fact that the nominees already confirmed and pending nominations fill critical national security, economic, and judicial vacancies.

Senator Reid said, “As always, there is an easy and a hard way that we legislators can take. One is to move. The other is to obstruct. So far, my Republican Colleagues have obstructed and continue to do so. The choice to obstruct is theirs.”

 

Fact sheet below:

AFTER NEARLY ALL SENATE REPUBLICANS VOTED TO BLOCK THESE CRITICAL NOMINATIONS, MORE THAN HALF OF SENATE REPUBLICANS VOTED TO CONFIRM THEM:

Jeh Johnson to be Secretary of Homeland Security (Confirmed 78-16):

  • 37 Senate Republicans (95%) voted against cloture on the nomination [113th Congress 1st Session, RCV 275]
  • 23 Senate Republicans (59%) then voted for confirmation of the nomination [113th Congress, 1st Session, RCV 276]

 

Anne Patterson to be Assistant Secretary of State (Near Eastern Affairs) (Confirmed 78-16):

  • 36 Senate Republicans (95%) voted against cloture on the nomination [113th Congress 1st Session, RCV 273]
  • 23 Senate Republicans (59%) then voted for confirmation of the nomination [113th Congress, 1st Session, RCV 274]

 

Heather Higginbottom to be Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources (Confirmed 74-17):

  • 34 Senate Republicans (94%) voted against cloture on the nomination [113th Congress 1st Session, RCV 271]
  • 21 Senate Republicans (55%) then voted for confirmation of the nomination [113th Congress, 1st Session, RCV 272]

 

Deborah Lee James to be Secretary of the Air Force (Confirmed 79-6)

  • 39 Senate Republicans (93%) voted against cloture on the nomination [113th Congress 1st Session, RCV 269]
  • 29 Senate Republicans (83%) then voted for confirmation of the nomination [113th Congress, 1st Session, RCV 270]

 

Brian Morris to be US District Judge for Montana (Confirmed 75-20):

  • 40 Senate Republicans (93%) voted against cloture on the nomination [113th Congress 1st Session, RCV 265]
  • 20 Senate Republicans (50%) then voted for confirmation of the nomination [113th Congress, 1st Session, RCV 266]
  • Judge Morris filled a judicial emergency.

 

Landya McCafferty to be US District Judge for New Hampshire (Confirmed 79-19):

  • 40 Senate Republicans (93%) voted against cloture on the nomination [113th Congress 1st Session, RCV 261]
  • 24 Senate Republicans (56%) then voted for confirmation of the nomination [113th Congress, 1st Session, RCV 262]