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Barrasso: Biden nominees will have to 'run the gauntlet' if GOP controls Senate

Sen. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoSenate GOP to face off over earmarks next week Biden outreach on infrastructure met with Republican skepticism Sunday shows preview: Democrats eye passage of infrastructure bill; health experts warn of fourth coronavirus wave MORE (R-Wyo.) suggested Sunday that President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenGraham: 'I could not disagree more' with Trump support of Afghanistan troop withdrawal Obama, Shaquille O'Neal, Charles Barkley team up to urge communities of color to get coronavirus vaccine Biden to hold second meeting with bipartisan lawmakers on infrastructure MORE would face a sustained confirmation fight for his Cabinet nominees if Republicans maintain their control of the upper chamber.

Barrasso cited the delays for some of President TrumpDonald TrumpGraham: 'I could not disagree more' with Trump support of Afghanistan troop withdrawal GOP believes Democrats handing them winning 2022 campaign Former GOP operative installed as NSA top lawyer resigns MORE’s nominees, telling Fox's host Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceSullivan: White House 'absolutely committed' to raising refugee cap McConnell seeks to end feud with Trump The Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden meets with bipartisan lawmakers for infrastructure negotiations MORE that GOP senators “are not going to forget what happened with President Trump's administration and the delayed process that went through it.”

“[I]t's not going to be a garden party,” he added." “If the Republicans are in the majority, these nominees are going to have to run the gauntlet.”

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Senate Republicans have already signaled that Neera TandenNeera TandenFive ways an obscure Senate ruling could change Washington 2024 GOP White House hopefuls lead opposition to Biden Cabinet White House delays release of budget plan MORE, head of the left-leaning Center for American Progress think tank, will face an uphill confirmation battle for director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Two January runoffs in which Georgia Sens. Kelly LoefflerKelly LoefflerWarnock raises nearly M since January victory A proposal to tackle congressional inside trading: Invest in the US NBA names Obama alum to be director for social justice initiatives MORE (R) and David PerdueDavid PerdueWarnock raises nearly M since January victory Georgia's top election official looks to shake political drama Lobbying world MORE (R) will defend their seats will determine control of the upper chamber. Barrasso on Sunday said Republican wins are vital for a check on the incoming Biden administration.

“If you want accountability and not just a rubber stamp for a Joe Biden Cabinet, you need to have people like me as chairman of the Energy Committee,” he told Wallace, “You bet, I'm going to ask tough questions.”

Biden has nominated former Michigan Gov. Jennifer GranholmJennifer GranholmThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Tax March - Congress returns; infrastructure takes center stage Sunday shows - Infrastructure dominates Senate Republican targets infrastructure package's effect on small business job creators MORE (D) as Secretary of Energy. Barrasso specifically criticized that nomination on Sunday, citing her past comments on fossil fuels. Biden’s nominees, Barrasso also said, appear to be a “third term of the Obama administration.”

During the same interview, Barrasso acknowledged Biden as president-elect after last week calling it a “gotcha question” following the Electoral College formally confirming Biden’s victory.