Hoyer Statement on Senate Confirmation Hearings “As Senate committees begin hearings on the confirmation of the President-Elect’s cabinet nominees, I find it unsettling that they are doing so before the candidates have been fully vetted.
BigNews.Biz - Jan 11,2017 - Hoyer Statement on Senate Confirmation Hearings
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement as the Senate began confirmation hearings for cabinet nominees:
“As Senate committees begin hearings on the confirmation of the President-Elect’s cabinet nominees, I find it unsettling that they are doing so before the candidates have been fully vetted. Many of the nominees have significant conflicts of interest, raising questions about ethics and impartiality. Unlike nominees from past incoming administrations, those put forward by Donald Trump are being given a pass when it comes to disclosing their taxes, finances, and potential business entanglements. The nonpartisan Office of Government Ethics has raised concerns about the unprecedented nature of beginning confirmation hearings before nominees have undergone the full ethics review process. In 2009, Senator McConnell listed requirements that nominees should meet before beginning committee hearings in a letter to then-Majority Leader Harry Reid. Among his requirements were that ‘the Office of Government Ethics letter is complete and submitted to the committee in time for review and prior to a committee hearing’ for each nominee, and that ‘financial disclosure statements are complete and submitted to the committee for review prior to a hearing being held.’ This same standard, which the Senate followed in 2009 and in years past, ought to apply today.
“Serious questions also remain about conflicts between the stated positions of these nominees and the President-Elect who nominated them. For example, Rep. Tom Price, nominated to serve as Secretary of Health and Human Services, has said he wants to end the Medicare guarantee by turning it into a voucher program, putting millions of seniors in jeopardy – something Donald Trump promised on the campaign trail he would not do. At the same time, the President-Elect campaigned on claims of championing working Americans, but his nominees for several cabinet positions with influence over economic policy come from the corner offices of Wall Street and large corporations. Senators need to look into the past statements and positions of all the nominees and question them about what policies they and the new administration intend to pursue.
“I hope this process, as it unfolds, will be more open, more comprehensive, and more transparent than it seems to be so far.”