Senate Republicans today offered a reality check to Democrats claiming that the GOP has blocked confirmation votes on President Obama's nominees, producing a list showing that 1,560 presidential picks have been confirmed since Obama took office.
In the face of a threat from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to "go nuclear" and bust the rules on how presidential nominees are considered, the GOP also noted that the Senate has approved six of Obama's cabinet picks in just the last six months.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's spokesman Don Stewart's email to the media said, "Since this president first took office, the Senate has confirmed 1,560 nominations. In fact, there are only a handful that are still on the Executive Calendar (you can peruse it here, along with the short periods of time they've been pending before the full Senate. But prepare to be disappointed that you've been lied to about how many nominees are 'waiting for years'). And don't even get me started on judicial nominations--you'll see there are only THREE still pending before the full Senate even though there are scores of vacancies."
He noted in the email that the confirmations that have occurred since January when Reid pledge not to use the nuclear option.
--The Secretary of Energy was just confirmed, 97 to 0.
--The Secretary of the Interior, 87 to 11.
--The Secretary of the Treasury, 71 to 26.
--The Secretary of State was confirmed, 94 to 3 -- just 7 days after the Senate got his nomination.
--The Secretary of Commerce was confirmed, 97 to 1.
--The Secretary of Transportation was confirmed, 100 to 0.
--The Director of the Office of Management and Budget was confirmed, 96 to 0.
--The Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services was confirmed 91 to 7.
--The Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission was confirmed by voice vote - in other words, unanimously.
And, he said, Reid has the power to schedule votes on other nominees.
Paul Bedard, The Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.