GOP senator calls for new rules to more quickly confirm Trump nominees

GOP senator calls for new rules to more quickly confirm Trump nominees
© Greg Nash

Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonLindsey Graham basks in the impeachment spotlight Sunday shows — New impeachment phase dominates Rand Paul says Trump has 'every right' to withhold Ukraine aid over corruption MORE (R-Wis.) called for a change in Senate rules to speed up the confirmation of President Trump’s executive nominations, claiming the slow pace of confirmations was a result of “a breakdown in the Senate.”

“Less than a month from the August recess, the Senate has confirmed only 22 percent of those nominated to serve in the Trump administration. By the same point in President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaSaagar Enjeti dismisses Warren, Klobuchar claims of sexism Pennsylvania's other election-night story Buttigieg praises Obama after Los Angeles Times corrects misquote MORE’s first term, the Senate had confirmed 53 percent of Obama nominations,” Johnson wrote in a Washington Post op-ed on Friday.

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Johnson argued that Democrats are abusing rules that allow senators to use hours or days to debate a nominee and “have required more than 30 Trump nominees to go through this burdensome and time-consuming process.”

The Wisconsin senator proposed limiting debate on sub-Cabinet and lower level nominees to two hours on the floor, while using Senate committees to vet nominees, which would be reported to the Senate.

Leadership would then assign members to speak in favor or against the nominee and then hold a vote.

Johnson goes on to say that Republicans can use former Sen. Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidBottom Line Bottom Line Lobbying world MORE’s (D-Nevada) 51-vote precedent to change the rules.

“The post-nuclear Senate is now our reality. It would make sense to at least try to use this precedent and make Washington somewhat less dysfunctional,” Johnson said.

Johnson’s op-ed comes after the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which is led by Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiThis week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry GOP senators plan to tune out impeachment week Pay America's Coast Guard MORE (R-Alaska) delayed a vote on six Trump administration nominees, after Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke allegedly told Murkowski her vote against the ObamaCare repeal could steer the administration away from policies that could benefit Alaska.