White House blasts Senate Republicans on Trump picks

White House blasts Senate Republicans on Trump picks
© Greg Nash

The White House on Monday accused Senate Republicans of “rubber stamping” President-elect Donald TrumpDonald TrumpNoem touts South Dakota coronavirus response, knocks lockdowns in CPAC speech On The Trail: Cuomo and Newsom — a story of two embattled governors McCarthy: 'I would bet my house' GOP takes back lower chamber in 2022 MORE’s administration picks before their government ethics reviews are complete.

“Republicans in the Senate are forming their own ‘cheap-suit caucus,’ ” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said. “They are folding and rubber stamping … the nominees of the incoming Trump administration.”

Earnest said Senate Republicans “are failing in their effort to advise and consent.”

The White House is ramping up criticism from congressional Democrats who are ripping Republicans for moving too quickly on Trump’s selections for his Cabinet and other top administration posts.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe bizarre back story of the filibuster The Bible's wisdom about addressing our political tribalism Democrats don't trust GOP on 1/6 commission: 'These people are dangerous' MORE (R-Ky.) has dismissed those complaints as politically motivated.


“All of these little procedural complaints are related to their frustration at having not only lost the White House, but having lost the Senate,” McConnell said on CBS News’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday. “I understand that. But we need to, sort of, grow up here and get past that.”

The Republican National Committee blasted Senate Democrats in a Monday morning email, saying they demanded quick confirmations for Obama's own nominees in 2009.

The controversy comes on the heels of a letter from the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) that says several Trump picks have not been properly vetted.

The letter, released by Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerThe bizarre back story of the filibuster Hillicon Valley: Biden signs order on chips | Hearing on media misinformation | Facebook's deal with Australia | CIA nominee on SolarWinds House Rules release new text of COVID-19 relief bill MORE’s (D-N.Y.) office, said four Trump choices have not finished the review process: Commerce Secretary-designate Wilbur Ross, Education Secretary-designate Betsy DeVos, Homeland Security Secretary-designate John Kelly, and Ben Carson, Trump’s pick to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

All are scheduled to have confirmation hearings this week.

Earnest said President Obama “never asked for a nominee to get a hearing” before they completed their paperwork for the OGE.

But Obama was forced to withdraw two of his Cabinet picks over ethics concerns.

Former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D-N.M.) took himself out of the running to become Commerce secretary in 2009 due to a federal grand jury investigation into pay-to-play allegations. No charges were ever filed.

Tom Daschle, Obama’s pick to helm the Department of Health and Human Services, also withdrew over allegations of improper tax filings.

“I’m here on television saying I screwed up," Obama said of Daschle’s nomination during a February 2009 interview with NBC News.

-- This post was updated at 3:51 p.m.