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Flake threatens to limit Trump court nominees: report

Flake threatens to limit Trump court nominees: report
© Greg Nash

Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeFormer GOP lawmaker: Republican Party 'engulfed in lies and fear' Grassley to vote against Tanden nomination Klain on Manchin's objection to Neera Tanden: He 'doesn't answer to us at the White House' MORE (R-Ariz.) is reportedly considering using votes on President 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 appellate court nominees as a bargaining chip for demands on two separate issues. 

CNN reported that Flake may block votes on the court nominations while he attempts to secure action on tariffs and travel restrictions to Cuba.

“We’re discussing it,” he told the network. 

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Flake is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, where Republicans hold a one-seat advantage over Democrats.

If Flake does not support the appellate nominees, it could compromise their nominations. Most judges are voted out of the committee along party lines. 

However, Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyGrassley to vote against Tanden nomination Grassley says he'll decide this fall whether to run in 2022 Yellen deputy Adeyemo on track for quick confirmation MORE (R-Iowa) told CNN that he will not schedule votes on the judges until Flake has indicated he’ll support the nominees.

Grassley added that the Senate nominations calendar is full, and he does not feel pressured to vote on judges at this time. 

Trump and 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.) have touted the confirmation of circuit court judges as one of his administration's hallmark achievements. The Republican-held Senate set a record pace for judge confirmations earlier this year.

Flake, who is retiring from the Senate when his term expires in January, has become one of the most vocal GOP critics of Trump in recent months.

He has expressed concerns over Trump's decision to implement steep tariffs on U.S. allies. 

Last year, he slammed Trump's reversal of the Obama administration policy that lifted travel restrictions to Cuba. Flake co-sponsored a bill that would have lifted such restrictions.