Senate

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

Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) suggested Sunday that President-elect Joe Biden 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 Trump’s nominees, telling Fox’s host Chris Wallace 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.”

Senate Republicans have already signaled that Neera Tanden, 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 Loeffler (R) and David Perdue (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 Granholm (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.

Tags Chris Wallace David Perdue Donald Trump Jennifer Granholm Joe Biden John Barrasso Kelly Loeffler Neera Tanden

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