No Cabinet nominee has been defeated by filibuster; however in 1990 the
Democratic Party controlled Senate voted along party lines, 53-47 not to
confirm the nomination of former Senator John Tower to the
position of Secretary of Defense. It was the first time that the Senate had
rejected a cabinet nominee of a newly elected president.
In a cowardly move, yesterday the Senate GOP temporarily blocked the nomination Chuck Hagel to the same position for which John Tower was defeated. It was the right move, however it was made to satisfy a senatorial hissy -fit and not because Chuck Hagel isn’t qualified for the position.
The Senators were too frightened to call it a filibuster, albeit a temporary one:
is not a filibuster,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) announced on the floor
immediately after the vote. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) concurred,
saying Republicans weren’t trying to block the vote, just asking for
more time. “We’re going to require a 60-vote threshold,” Sen. Jim Inhofe
(R-Okla.) told Foreign Policy. But, he added, ”It’s not a filibuster. I
don’t want to use that word.” Likewise, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) says
he now might vote against cloture, which cuts off debate. But he still
thinks “a filibuster is a bad precedent” to set for a Cabinet nominee.
They promised no vote till the White House provided additional information on Bengazi and Hagel provide the information he’s been refusing to turn over. At the end of the day we know very little more on Benghazi and Hagel hasn’t turned over anything new, but when the Senate returns from the president day recess–they will probably vote yes to cloture.
Earlier in the day, White House officials sent a letter to McCain and two other Republicans, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, answering the question of what the president was doing during the eight-hour-long crisis. Turns out that Obama never once called Libya’s president for help on the
night an ambassador and three other brave Americans were being murdered at the consulate. Big deal! We still don’t have answers about who made the decision not to help, or why the administration lied, saying an anti-Muslim video caused the attack.
According to Fox News, some Republicans said Thursday that they would be willing to ultimately
allow for an up-or-down vote — which requires only a simple majority —
once they get more answers on Libya from the administration and once
lawmakers return from recess.
I think most likely … when we come back, Chuck Hagel will be
confirmed,” Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., said. “Members have outstanding
requests that they deserve to have answers to. Why rush this? Two days
is not enough time for everyone to formulate their questions and get the
“I wouldn’t be in favor of a filibuster after the break,” Burr said.
senators said the coming 10-day recess period (Feb. 16-25) should allow
ample time to seek and obtain any additional information needed from
Hagel and the White House.
“I think we will get that information,”
McCain said. “I think it’s appropriate to wait until we come back and
that gives us plenty of time to get further questions answered. I intend
to vote for cloture [after the recess]. … He would certainly get mine
and a number of others.”
Both of them also said they they will vote against the Hagel’s nomination because they do not believe he is the right man for the Job.
Wait a second! If you do not believe the guy is right for such an important job as Secretary of Defense, why will many GOP Senators switch their votes and allow cloture in ten days? Is someone qualified going to switch bodies with Hagel? Is the former Nebraska senator undergoing some sort of brainwashing to make him smarter, anti-Terror, anti-Iranian nukes, etc?
No, none of that. They are too cowardly to stand up to the President.
Hagel is not qualified for the office, however if the Senate Republicans do not understand that by voting to end debate they are voting to approve Hagel (even if they eventually vote no)–they are just as unqualified for their positions as Hagel is for his.