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 TrumpOmar, Muslim Democrats decry Islamophobia amid death threats On The Money — Powell pivots as inflation rises Trump cheers CNN's Cuomo suspension 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 McConnellSenate nearing deal on defense bill after setback On The Money — Powell pivots as inflation rises Schumer eyeing Build Back Better vote as soon as week of Dec. 13 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 Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - The omicron threat and Biden's plan to beat it Lawmakers take aim at 'Grinches' using bots to target consumers during holidays Democratic frustration growing over stagnating voting rights bills 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.