White House blasts Senate Dems' 'historic obstruction' on nominees

The White House on Tuesday slammed Senate Democrats for what it claimed to be “historic obstruction” to President TrumpDonald John TrumpRussia's election interference is a problem for the GOP Pence to pitch trade deal during trip to Michigan: report Iran oil minister: US made 'bad mistake' in ending sanctions waivers MORE’s nominees compared to previous administrations.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders blamed Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerMJ Hegar announces Texas Senate bid Hillicon Valley: House Dems subpoena full Mueller report | DOJ pushes back at 'premature' subpoena | Dems reject offer to view report with fewer redactions | Trump camp runs Facebook ads about Mueller report | Uber gets B for self-driving cars Dem legal analyst says media 'overplayed' hand in Mueller coverage MORE (N.Y.) for blocking Trump’s nominees, noting that half of them are still waiting for Senate confirmation.

“Compared to the four past administrations, this Senate has confirmed the fewest nominees,” Sanders told reporters at Tuesday’s briefing. “Sen. Schumer’s tactics led to 73 fewer confirmations than the next closest administration.”

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Critics have noted that Trump has yet to name nominees for 225 key positions that require confirmation by the Senate, according to an analysis from The Washington Post and The Partnership for Public Service. There are about 1,200 positions that need Senate confirmation.

Sanders said Tuesday that over the next few days the White House will be highlighting several nominees who are still waiting on confirmation.

She kicked off the effort Tuesday by mentioning Richard Grenell, Trump’s pick to serve as ambassador to Germany who was nominated in September.

Sanders noted that Grenell was reported out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee with “bipartisan support” and called on the Senate to immediately confirm him.

“We need people who are qualified to fill these important positions in the government,” Sanders said.

But some of Trump’s nominees have also faced opposition from Republicans.

K.T. McFarland withdrew her nomination to be U.S. ambassador to Singapore after opposition from Democrats and Republicans over claims she deceived the Senate about what she knew about former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s discussions with Russia.