So, how are the confirmations for Donald Trump’s cabinet going?
As Senate Republicans embark on a flurry of confirmation hearings this week, several of Donald J. Trump’s appointees have yet to complete the background checks and ethics clearances customarily required before the Senate begins to consider cabinet-level nominees.
Who cares about ethics?
In a letter to Senators Chuck Schumer of New York and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, the head of the Office of Government Ethics, Walter M. Shaub Jr., said on Friday that “the announced hearing schedule for several nominees who have not completed the ethics review process is of great concern to me.”
Hmm, the House tried to get rid of the Office of Congressional Ethics. I wonder long it will take Trump to get rid of the Office of Government Ethics?
Republicans are upset at the ‘delaying tactics’:
“Holding up confirmations just for delay’s sake is irresponsible and it is dangerous,” said Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas. He added, “This is a dangerous world we are living in, and why in the world would we want to make it even more dangerous just to let our colleagues delay for delay’s sake President-elect Trump getting to fill his cabinet, particularly these important national security offices?”
Yes, Republicans are very worried about this dangerous world:
President-elect Donald J. Trump’s transition staff has issued a blanket edict requiring politically appointed ambassadors to leave their overseas posts by Inauguration Day, according to several American diplomats familiar with the plan, breaking with decades of precedent by declining to provide even the briefest of grace periods.
The mandate — issued “without exceptions,” according to a terse State Department cable sent on Dec. 23, diplomats who saw it said — threatens to leave the United States without Senate-confirmed envoys for months in critical nations like Germany, Canada and Britain. In the past, administrations of both parties have often granted extensions on a case-by-case basis to allow a handful of ambassadors, particularly those with school-age children, to remain in place for weeks or months.
(e) Restriction on funding subject to opening determination.—Not more than 50 percent of the amounts appropriated to the Department of State for fiscal year 2017 under the heading “Embassy Security, Construction, and Maintenance” may be obligated until the Secretary of State determines and reports to Congress that the United States Embassy in Jerusalem has officially opened.
(1) FISCAL YEAR 2018.—Of the amounts authorized to be appropriated under the heading “Embassy Security, Construction, and Maintenance” for the Department of State for fiscal year 2018, such sums as may be necessary should be made available until expended only for construction and other costs associated with the establishment of the United States Embassy in Jerusalem.
(2) FISCAL YEAR 2019.—Of the amounts authorized to be appropriated under the heading “Embassy Security, Construction, and Maintenance” for the Department of State for fiscal year 2019, such sums as may be necessary should be made available until expended only for construction and other costs associated with the establishment of the United States Embassy in Jerusalem.
This also shows how much they care about embassy security, what you thought the whole Benghazi thing meant they cared?