Will McConnell stick to his word?
Should Republicans reclaim the majority in the upper chamber following the November midterms, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has vowed President Joe Biden’s nominees would face a grueling time before being confirmed.
Speaking at a Rotary Club Luncheon in Florence, Kentucky, on Monday (June 27), McConnell said, “We’ll be way more picky over who gets to head various boards and commissions and agencies that are important to how all of you function in our society.”
McConnell went on to criticize Biden’s selection for the Supreme Court, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, describing her as a judicial activist who “ruled like a policymaker implementing personal biases.”
But it wouldn’t only be prominent nominees like Jackson that would have a challenging time getting votes. According to McConnell, all “executive branch appointments” would face the same fate.
“If I’m the majority leader, we’ll be really picky on appointees. There are 1,200 executive branch appointments that come to us. They’re not all as important as the Supreme Court, but many of them are quite important and [need] to be confirmed by the Senate,” McConnell continued, emphasizing that the Senate is in “the personnel business, the House is not.”
A stance like McConnell’s would likely prevent Biden’s nominations like Steve Dettelbach’s, a nominee to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, or Arianna Freeman, the nominee to sit on the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, from being confirmed.
But it’s not only Biden’s nominees in McConnell’s firing line, the Republican indicated there would be no support to pass costly spending bills, like the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which passed with only Democratic support when it reached the Senate floor last year.
“We won’t be doing any spending bills,” McConnell stated before softening his harsh tone by remarking that “if we can find ways to make some progress for the country during a time of divided government, we’ll do it.”