Toomey accuses fellow Republicans of 'relinquishing' power to deny cloture

On Tuesday, Republicans agreed to vote on seven of Obama’s controversial nominees as part of a deal to avoid Senate rule changes limiting the minority's right to filibuster executive branch nominees.

ADVERTISEMENT
Toomey opposes the nomination of Fred Hochberg to be president of the Export-Import Bank. Ahead of Toomey’s floor speech, more than 20 Republicans joined Democrats in voting 82-18 to end debate on Hochberg’s nomination. A final confirmation vote is expected later Wednesday afternoon.

Toomey said Hochberg is “capable” but complained that by invoking cloture and confirming Hochberg, senators will have missed  “a big opportunity to make some reforms” to the Export-Import Bank.

“This is a very real and specific case where, had we exercised more fully our ability to deny cloture, we could have bettered law,” Toomey said.

Toomey said the bank — which provides loan guarantees to foreign companies that want to do business with U.S. exporters — is a risk to taxpayers and that it picks “winners and losers.” He said instead of having the bank, government shouldn't "meddle" in the free market.