Carney decries confirmation delays

White House press secretary Jay Carney blasted Senate Republicans Tuesday, calling the delay over confirming President Obama’s judicial and Cabinet nominees “unacceptable.”

“On some of the nominees, there have been obstacles thrown up by Republicans, as you know, which, unfortunately, is part of a practice of slowing down or trying to block highly qualified nominees from consideration by the Senate,” Carney said during a press gaggle aboard Air Force One, which was en route to New Jersey.

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“The time lapse between consideration — between committee hearings [on nominees] and consideration on the floor I believe is three to four times longer than under President Bush,” Carney said. “It’s unacceptable.  And it’s not an appropriate way to conduct the Senate’s constitutional obligations when it comes to the confirmation process.”

Carney argued that the eventual nomination votes showed the GOP was more interested in playing politics than in the quality of the nominees.

“They should be considered and then moved forward on. We’ve seen again and again where nominees have been held up, blocked, holds have been put on them for no justifiable reason, and then eventually when months and months and sometimes years later, the nomination is voted on, it’s voted on unanimously in support, or with an overwhelming majority — another indication that the delay in the process was simply about politics,” he said.

Carney’s shots are just the latest rounds fired in a running battle over the Senate’s handling of President Obama’s nominees. Last week, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said that Democrats and Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) were trying to “blow the Senate up” with the so-called “nuclear option” to ram through Obama’s nominees, The Hill previously reported.