WASHINGTON – Today, reporting revealed that delays in the Senate make it unlikely that President-elect Biden’s nominee for secretary of state, Antony Blinken, will have a confirmation hearing before Inauguration Day. This would be the first time in 10 transitions of power that the incoming president’s pick for State wouldn’t have a hearing or have already been confirmed prior to January 20th. Blinken was one of President-elect Biden’s first Cabinet picks on November 24, 2020. According to reports, Blinken completed paperwork on December 31, but his nomination has stalled as Senate Republicans worked to obstruct a speedy confirmation process. By contrast, President Trump’s pick for secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, came before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on January 11, 2017, and President Obama’s first pick for the department, Hillary Clinton, had her hearing on January 13, 2009.
Since President-elect Biden’s victory, President Trump and his allies in the Senate have done everything in their power to block a smooth transition to the next administration — including on matters of national security — and to slow-walk the confirmation process for Biden’s nominees. Senate Republicans have known since the election that they were going to maintain control of the Senate during the transition period, meaning the delays for Blinken and other national security nominees lay squarely at their feet. Earlier today, the Accountable Senate War Room released an in-depth memo outlining how, with less than two weeks until Inauguration Day, Senate Republicans are already dramatically behind on the Cabinet nomination process and why these delays put Americans’ national security and public health interests at an even greater risk.
“It is unacceptable that Senate Republicans wasted valuable time dragging their feet on Antony Blinken’s nomination, effectively putting our national security at risk when President-elect Biden takes office in nine days,” said Mairead Lynn, spokesperson for the Accountable Senate War Room. “It is time for Senate Republicans to stop slow-walking Blinken’s nomination and get to work advancing the President-elect’s steady, competent choice for secretary of state.”
Watchdog group Accountable.US recently launched the Accountable Senate War Room to fight back against those lawmakers who seek to overturn the will of the people by standing in the way of the smooth transition of power and the swift approval of nominees to ensure that the government can function and deliver results for the American people.