GOP hits the brakes on Obama nominees

Senate Republicans are throwing up obstacles to Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidBill O'Reilly: Politics helped kill Kate Steinle, Zarate just pulled the trigger Tax reform is nightmare Déjà vu for Puerto Rico Ex-Obama and Reid staffers: McConnell would pretend to be busy to avoid meeting with Obama MORE’s (D-Nev.) plans to confirm a batch of executive and judicial branch nominees this weekend.

Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyGrassley blasts Democrats over unwillingness to probe Clinton GOP and Dems bitterly divided by immigration Thanks to the farm lobby, the US is stuck with a broken ethanol policy MORE (Iowa), the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, said if Reid wants to confirm 12 pending federal district judges, he will have to run them through the regular floor process, which could take days.

Grassley noted that Republicans don’t have enough votes to block the judicial nominees but they can drag out the process, which may force Reid to bring the Senate in next week if he wants to get the job done.

“If he wants to do it he can do it because it only takes 51 votes. The question is will enough people stay around for the hour of debate on each one of them and sit it out,” he said. “Does he want to put his colleagues to that effort.”

Grassley said the nominees will carry over and can be confirmed next year, when Republicans control the Senate.

He said he would not yield back time to let Reid confirm the batch of nominees Friday evening or Saturday.

“I don’t know what Republicans do, I know that I won’t,” he said. “I won’t let it happen.”

Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioRyan pledges 'entitlement reform' in 2018 Richard Gere welcomes lawmakers' words of support for Tibet Dem lawmaker gives McConnell's tax reform op-ed a failing grade MORE (R-Fla.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he would not yield back any time on Anthony Blinken’s nomination to serve as deputy secretary of State.

“I personally have an objection to Tony Blinken’s nomination. He refused to answer my questions on Cuba policy in a straightforward way,” he said. “I understand that at the end of the day that if they’re willing to stay for a long period of time they’re going to get him [confirmed] but I intend to force them to use all of that time.”

Another contentious nominee is Sarah Saldaña, President Obama’s pick to head Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.

Reid said Tuesday that he wanted to confirm Saldaña before adjourning Congress for the year but Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzDebbie Wasserman Schultz marks 10 years as breast cancer survivor Foreign agent registration is no magical shield against Russian propaganda Let Trump be Trump and he'll sail through 2020 MORE (R-Texas) has called her a “rubber stamp for amnesty.”