Trump’s Nominees May Face a Strong Wall of Democratic Opposition

By Autumn Pattison 12/5/16

Senate Democrats have almost no power to change Trump’s Cabinet, but they can put the nominees under a harsh spotlight before their appointment. Congress will reconvene in January, and hearings for the Cabinet posts will start. Symone Sanders, former press secretary of Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign, said that these hearings are the “first test… of Democrats in the Trump era.” She elaborated that “They have to demonstrate a show of force… because if it looks like Democrats are rolling over for Donald Trump and Republicans, it’s not going to bode well for midterms.” However, no matter the outcomes of the hearings, the Senate must work under Trump’s administration for the next four years.

Many Senate Democrats have already spoken out against Trump and his various nominations. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren said Wednesday that Trump’s pick for Treasury secretary, former Goldman Sachs partner Steven Mnuchin, was the “Forrest Gump of the financial crisis.” Former Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid called the President-elect “a sexual predator who lost the popular vote and fueled his campaign with bigotry and hate” in a statement following Trump’s election. His replacement, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, has promised to “fight tooth and nail” for Medicare in response to the appointment Georgia Rep. Tom Price as Health and Human Services Secretary.

Each nominee will face a different committee, increasing opportunities for Democrats to grill Trump’s picks on past statements and policies. Stephanie Martz, a lobbyist with Monument Policy Group who spent years in the Senate with Schumer and worked for the Obama administration, said she expects the hearings to be “an opportunity to get real answers” and “lay down markers.”

Leave a Reply