All of a sudden, Senate Democrats are in a hurry to get President Trump’s nominees confirmed. Or are they?
On April 27th, a group of Democratic Senators, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, sent a letter to DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielson requesting that she provide documentation in connection with Thomas Homan’s nomination to be Assistant Secretary of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) so that “the Senate can consider Mr. Homan’s nomination without further delay.”
In an apparent shift from the barrage of delay tactics we have witnessed from Democrats with respect to President Trump’s nominees, the letter notes that “ICE has been without a Senate-confirmed Director since the first day of the Trump Administration, more than 14 months.” (Note: It’s actually been 15 months now.) The letter pointedly states: “The absence of a Senate-confirmed head of ICE for more than a year hinders Congressional oversight and the efficient operation of the agency and is troubling in any circumstance.”
Senator Schumer, I couldn’t agree more. The absence of Senate-confirmed nominees to key leadership posts throughout the executive branch is extremely troubling, and prevents those executive agencies from doing their jobs effectively. While Mr. Homan announced yesterday that he has decided to retire from government service rather than become ICE Director, dozens of key executive branch positions remain unfilled because of unrelenting Democratic obstruction.
For example, at the Department of Justice, several Assistant Attorney General positions—which are the equivalent of Assistant Secretary level positions and oversee the DOJ’s various components—still remain vacant and are currently being run by acting career employees.
Brian Benczkowski, President Trump’s nominee to lead DOJ’s Criminal Division, was nominated on June 5, 2017—nearly a year ago. Mr. Benczkowski’s nomination has been pending on the Senate floor since September.