Schumer grills Trump on 'swamp cabinet'

Schumer grills Trump on 'swamp cabinet'
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Sen. Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTurkey says soldier killed despite cease-fire in Syria Schumer calls for FDA to probe reports of contaminated baby food How Trump and Pelosi went from bad to worse MORE (D-N.Y.) tore into Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he doesn't want NYT in the White House Veterans group backs lawsuits to halt Trump's use of military funding for border wall Schiff punches back after GOP censure resolution fails MORE's nominees on Wednesday, saying the president-elect is setting up a “swamp cabinet.”

“This is a swamp cabinet full of bankers and billionaires,” Schumer told reporters at his weekly press conference.

The Senate minority leader also criticized Republicans for scheduling so many hearings — some of them even as nominees failed to hand in paperwork to the Office of Government Ethics.


Schumer specifically pointed to Betsy DeVos, Trump's pick to lead the Department of Education, noting lawmakers did not have all of her paperwork before Tuesday's hearing.

“The last two weeks have not been good for open and transparent government,” he said.

Democrats want another hearing for DeVos, and Schumer warned on Wednesday that if Democrats feel like Republicans are rushing nominees they will force “extensive debate” on the floor.

The threat could slow down Republicans' efforts to get nominees confirmed.

Senate leadership is currently negotiating over how many nominees will get a vote before the full Senate on Friday. 

Schumer also floated the possibility that Republicans should block Rep. Mick Mulvaney from leading the Office of Management and Budget over his failure to pay taxes on a household employee, comparing it to a scandal that sunk President Obama's initial Health and Human Services pick.

"If Tom Daschle couldn't become a cabinet member for not paying taxes for a household employee than a same standard ought to apply for Mick Mulvaney," he told reporters. "We say to our Republican colleagues what's good for the goose is good for the gander."

Mulvaney said he has since paid the $15,000 in taxes as well as penalties and the Trump team dismissed criticism noting the congressman has already taken "appropriate follow up measures."

Daschle withdrew his 2009 nomination amid reports that had failed to pay nearly $130,000 in taxes.

--This report was updated at 3:07 p.m.