Cornyn, Schumer, Wyden

Executive Session (Duncan Nomination)

Senator Cornyn: (10:17 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Mike Pompeo to be Secretary of State.
    • "Director Pompeo was, in fact, first in his class at West Point, let the Harvard Law Review, served his country in the military and served the people of Kansas in Congress. Not to mention the fact that Mike Pompeo already serves in one of the most sensitive and important positions in the Trump Administration already, director of the Central Intelligence Agency. I spoke yesterday about the confirmations of some of the most recent secretaries of state, not just Secretaries Clinton and Kerry. Secretary Kerry got all but three votes in the Senate. Secretary Clinton lost only two votes in the Senate, but I also spoke of Secretary Powell and Secretary Rice, all confirmed overwhelmingly because the Senate has always had a tradition up until now of some deference to the president when confirming nominees to positions like this that have national security importance."

 

Senator Schumer: (10:30 a.m.)

  • Spoke on Democrat obstructionism.
    • "Of course the majority can approve of the nominations on a party line vote for all nominees up to and now including the Supreme Court since Leader McConnell elected to change those rules last year. Why the need for further erosions to minority rights in the Senate? Republicans argue it's because their facing, quote, historic obstruction of the president's nominees. A few points on that. The Democrats have cooperated with the majority of noncontroversial nominees, like career ambassadorships and civil servants for a long time now. Before each recess there is a long list of names approved. Before the last recess, the senate confirmed as nearly as many nominations in 2018 as President Obama had confirmed in the analogous year, 2010."
  • Spoke on the Russia investigation.
    • "Over the last few months house Republicans have heaped enormous pressure on the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in a transparent attempt to bullying into providing documents pertinent to an ongoing investigation, something we've hardly ever seen before, something that really gets in the way of law enforcement doing their job. Representative Nunes who has shown his partisanship repeatedly, and others, went so far to threaten Mr. Rosenstein with contempt of congress if he didn't hand over Comey's memos and other documents related to special counsel Mueller's investigation."

 

Senator Wyden: (10:58 a.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Stuart Jyle Duncan to be U.S. Circuit Court Judge for the Fifth Circuit.
    • "I accept that there are differences of opinion with respect to nominees, and I accept - I accept that I will not agree on every issue with every Trump nominee. I do expect that individuals who are up for lifetime judicial appointments have to demonstrate that above all else, above everything else, they will be guardians of the constitutional rights of the American people. If you want to be a judge in America, my view is you ought to have to show an Independence of thought and a respect for the rule of law. I regret to have to say this morning I believe this nominee has not met those important expectations. As I review Mr. Duncan's record, it seems to me that he has made a career out of fighting to restrict the rights and legal protections of the vulnerable and those who are powerless."