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Warren: No confirmation hearings until ethics concerns addressed

Warren: No confirmation hearings until ethics concerns addressed
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Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenOn The Money: Biden .5T budget proposes major hike in social programs | GOP bashes border, policing provisions Overnight Defense: Biden proposes 3B defense budget | Criticism comes in from left and right | Pentagon moves toward new screening for extremists POW/MIA flag moved back atop White House MORE on Saturday called for the Senate to not hold confirmation hearings for President-elect Donald TrumpDonald TrumpHarry Reid reacts to Boehner book excerpt: 'We didn't mince words' Man arrested for allegedly threatening to stab undercover Asian officer in NYC Trump says GOP will take White House in 2024 in prepared speech MORE's Cabinet picks until after the completion of an ethics screening.

"Cabinet officials must put our country's interests before their own. No [confirmation] hearings should be held until we’re certain that’s the case," the Massachusetts Democrat tweeted. 

Warren responded to a letter from the Office of Government Ethics (OGE), an agency that is responsible for conducting ethics reviews of Cabinet nominees, which warned that the plan to hold confirmation hearings before the completion of ethics reviews is "of great concern."

"This is ridiculous," Warren tweeted, "[Trump's nominees] can’t drag their feet on ethics paperwork while their Senate friends try to run out the clock."

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OGE Director Walter Shaub voiced his concerns about the premature confirmation hearings in a letter to Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerThe first Southern state legalizes marijuana — what it means nationally H.R. 1/S. 1: Democrats defend their majorities, not honest elections McCarthy asks FBI, CIA for briefing after two men on terror watchlist stopped at border MORE (D-N.Y.) and Warren on Saturday after the two lawmakers asked for a progress report on the ongoing ethics reviews.

Schumer also criticized the timing of the planned hearings while accusing GOP lawmakers of trying to "jam through" the nominees.

“The Office of Government Ethics letter makes crystal-clear that the transition team’s collusion with Senate Republicans to jam through these Cabinet nominees before they’ve been thoroughly vetted is unprecedented,” Schumer said in a statement Saturday.

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) also called for the hearings to be delayed until after the ethics reviews were finished.

"[I]f Trump and the GOP-led Senate fail to do so, the only reasonable conclusion to be drawn is that they are concerned about what will be exposed,” DNC spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said.

The Republicans are planning to hold hearings beginning Tuesday and Wednesday to confirm Trump's nominees.

Nominees slated to testify include former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, Trump's pick for secretary of State; Sen. Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden assails 'epidemic' of gun violence amid SC, Texas shootings Biden administration should resist 'slush-fund' settlements Garland should oppose Biden effort to reinstate controversial 'slush funds' practice MORE (R-Ala.), Trump's pick for attorney general; and Betsy DeVos, Trump's pick for Education secretary.