Nominationsby Senator Harry Reid
Posted on 2013-12-19
REID. Mr. President, after we complete work on the Defense
authorization bill, this body will consider several essential
nominations, including the new Federal Reserve Chair--so important, as
we learned yesterday from the announcement of Chairman Ben Bernanke how
terribly important that institution is. He is leaving. We need someone
to replace him.
We also are going to approve a Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, a new Director of the Internal Revenue Service. We will also consider a nomination that has been pending for 2 years--more than 2 years actually--the nomination of Brian Davis of Florida to fill a judicial seat that has been declared an emergency, as well as a handful of other nominations.
All those nominees are qualified and dedicated public servants. I have not heard a single word about these nominations being flawed in any way. Those nominees have broad bipartisan support. Their positions safeguard the economy, thus ensuring our national security. I am disappointed that Republican Senators have suggested that those nominees are nonessential or unimportant. I heard one Senator say: Just do them next year. Another said: Yes, they are nonessential. They are really unimportant. Why don't we do them next year? Everyone should understand, the Senate will not wait until the new year to consider these nominations. These are critical nominations. If that means working through the weekend, next week, so be it. The Senate will finish its work before we leave for the holidays. It is our constitutional duty. Public servants who set our Nation's monetary policy and guard against terrorism and deliver us justice do not hold nonessential positions.
Is Janet Yellen, to be chosen as Federal Reserve Chair, nonessential? It is shallow to even suggest this. Brain Davis. I have already talked about this good man who has waited 2 years to become a Federal trial judge in Florida, that has too many criminal cases, too many civil cases, and it has been declared a judicial emergency. I suggest it is very shallow to suggest this nomination is unimportant and not essential.
Alejandro Mayorkas to be the No. 2 person at the Department of Homeland Security is vitally important, as has been laid out in detail by the chairman of the committee Tom Carper. How shallow to think this important nominee is nonessential.
How about this one? John Koskinen to be Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service. With all that is going on in this country with ObamaCare, with all that is happening, we need someone to direct the Internal Revenue Service. To suggest this is not a critical position is really very shallow.
With all of the Republican obstruction and delay we have seen over the last 2 weeks, is it any wonder Democrats changed the rules last month? Of course not. The American people want Congress to work, not obstruct. Even under these new rules, Republicans are wasting weeks on matters that could be resolved in mere hours. As always, there is an easy and a hard way that we legislators can take. One is to move; the other is to obstruct. So far, my Republican colleagues have obstructed, and they continue to do so. The choice to obstruct is theirs. Their obstruction has become a bad habit of theirs. For the good of the country, their obstruction, these bad habits, need to go away.