Congressional tensions are high and neither side is very happy with the other.
On Tuesday Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, announced that his panel would push off a vote on Jeff Sessions until Wednesday, after drawn out Democratic speeches sidelined plans to take up the nomination by the end of the day.
The Democrats had boycotted a meeting that was planned of the Senate Finance Committee, forcing Republicans to indefinitely delay votes on the nominations of Tom Price to be Health secretary and financier Steve Mnuchin to head the Treasury Department.
Press Secretary Sean Spicer called the delay tactics “ridiculous.”
He said, “The mere idea they’re not even showing up to hearings is truly outrageous.”
The Senate was moving on other fronts.
The full chamber voted Tuesday afternoon, 93-6, to confirm former Labor secretary Elaine Chao, the wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, to lead the Transportation Department.
The full Senate will still have to vote on other nominees.
Democrats said they wanted more information on the nominees. They are finding things to nit-pick on.
Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said Democrats “ought to stop posturing and acting like idiots.”
Senators are still clashing over a lengthy meeting considering Sessions.
An early backer of Trump, the conservative senator from Alabama, was ‘put through the mill’ by allegations of racism, which he strongly denies.
Trump’s executive order made Tuesday’s meeting on Sessions exceptionally touchy. Monday night, Trump fired Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, from former President Barack Obama’s administration, when she rebelliously refused to defend Trump’s notorious immigration order. Trump said Yates had betrayed the administration by not carrying out the order and replaced her with Dana Boente, a U.S. attorney.
Dianne Feinstein, had taken Sessions to task and tried to tie him to the controversial order and the Trump administration, as she announced her opposition.
“Not one order, idea or pronouncement is meant to bring this country together, they only serve to drive us further apart. It is in this context we are being asked to consider this nomination,” Feinstein said.
Feinstein praised Yates saying standing up to Trump “took a steel spine and that is what an attorney general must be willing to do.”
She added that she has “no confidence” Sessions would be able to stand up to the president.
Sessions has denied he was involved in helping draft Trump’s immigration order.
Sessions said, “Neither I, nor any of my current staff, had such a role.”
Two ‘Code Pink’ protesters in pink shirts and in their 70’s, after voicing their opposition to Sessions, were dragged out of the hearing room.
A separate Senate committee battled over the nomination on Tuesday of DeVos to head up Education before the panel finally advanced her nomination to the Senate floor.
Patty Murray, the top Democrat on the committee, said it was clear that DeVos is “the wrong choice.”
Murray went on to spew other mean spirited comments.
This whole congressional matter is getting out of hand. The Democrats are just wasting time and energy. They would do far better to try and get along with the majority party.
President Trump has expressed his displeasure in Tweets.