2024 GOP White House hopefuls lead opposition to Biden Cabinet

2024 GOP White House hopefuls lead opposition to Biden Cabinet
© Greg Nash

A slate of potential 2024 White House hopefuls are leading the opposition among Republican senators to President BidenJoe BidenCapitol fencing starts coming down after 'Justice for J6' rally Senate parliamentarian nixes Democrats' immigration plan Biden pushes back at Democrats on taxes MORE's Cabinet nominees.

Of the 21 Cabinet nominations confirmed by the Senate since Jan. 20, GOP Sen. Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleySenators slow Biden with holds at Pentagon, State Overnight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Joint Chiefs Chairman Milley becomes lightning rod on right MORE (Mo.) has voted the most against the president's picks, according to data compiled by The Hill, opposing 19 and supporting just two: Trade Representative Katherine TaiKatherine TaiThe Trojan Horse of protectionism The Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden increases vaccine requirement for federal workers Asian American leaders eager to talk voting rights with Biden MORE and Cecilia RouseCecilia RouseOn The Money: Inflation spike puts Biden on defensive | Senate Democrats hit spending speed bumps | Larry Summers huddles with WH team Larry Summers, White House officials meet to discuss Biden agenda Biden releases T budget that foresees decade of trillion-dollar deficits MORE, the chair of the Council of Economic Advisers.

No senator voted against Tai and only four voted against Rouse.


After Hawley, GOP Sens. Rick Scott (Fla.) and Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzO'Rourke prepping run for governor in Texas: report Support for Abbott plunging in Texas: poll White House debates vaccines for air travel MORE (Texas) have opposed 18 of Biden's Cabinet nominees, while Sen. Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonOvernight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Joint Chiefs Chairman Milley becomes lightning rod on right Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Senate Democrats ding Biden energy proposal MORE (Ark.) has opposed 17.

Each of the three, like Hawley, are viewed as potential 2024 White House contenders.

Hawley, who supported challenges to the 2020 election results in Congress, told CNN that he was taking Biden's Cabinet picks "one at a time."

"If there is someone I think will be good to Missouri, that I can defend to my voters, somebody who I think is going to be good for the job, I'll vote for them," Hawley said last month

Scott's office said in a statement that the Florida senator — who chairs the National Republican Senatorial Committee and supported challenging Biden's win in Pennsylvania — has spoken with all of the Cabinet picks before they received votes on the Senate floor.


"Throughout this process, Senator Scott has been clear that he will not vote for any nominee who supports raising taxes or backs a job-killing agenda. He also does not support nominees who seek to re-join the disastrous Iran Deal, resume Obama-Biden era appeasement policies toward Cuba or establish weak policies that allow the U.S. to be taken advantage of by Communist China," his office said.

In some cases, the opposition to Biden's Cabinet nominees opens up splits among Republicans from the same state.

Cruz, who led the challenge to Arizona's November results, has supported just three of Biden's Cabinet picks while Sen. John CornynJohn CornynSenate parliamentarian nixes Democrats' immigration plan Democrats make case to Senate parliamentarian for 8 million green cards Democrats to make pitch Friday for pathway to citizenship in spending bill MORE (R-Texas) has voted for 15, including Attorney General Merrick GarlandMerrick GarlandGrassley calls for federal prosecutor to probe botched FBI Nassar investigation Durham seeking indictment of lawyer with ties to Democrats: reports Woman allegedly abused by Nassar after he was reported to FBI: 'I should not be here' MORE, Director of National Intelligence Avril HainesAvril HainesRepublican requesting data, notes, emails in intelligence report on COVID-19 origins After messy Afghanistan withdrawal, questions remain Biden briefed on COVID-19 origins report MORE and Treasury Secretary Janet YellenJanet Louise YellenBiden pushes back at Democrats on taxes Five questions and answers about the debt ceiling fight White House touts Nobel economists' support for Biden agenda MORE, all of whom Cruz voted against.

Cornyn told Texas reporters during a conference call last month that the "new president should be able to pick, within the limits, the people he wants in his Cabinet.” 

Similarly while Hawley has opposed 19 of Biden's Cabinet picks, Sen. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntGOP hopes spending traps derail Biden agenda A tale of two chambers: Trump's power holds in House, wanes in Senate The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by AT&T - Senate passes infrastructure bill, budget resolution; Cuomo resigns MORE (Mo.), a member of GOP leadership who is retiring at the end of the 117th Congress, has opposed only five.

Biden's picks didn't face the biggest opposition just from Republicans who will want to defeat him, if he runs for reelection in 2024.

Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) ranked fifth among Senate Republicans in opposing the most Cabinet picks at 15. Sen. Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyCrypto debate set to return in force Press: Why is Mo Brooks still in the House? Eshoo urges Pelosi to amend infrastructure bill's 'problematic' crypto regulation language MORE (R-Ala.), who is at the center of deals to fund the government, voted against 14, along with Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulWhite House debates vaccines for air travel Senate lawmakers let frustration show with Blinken Rand Paul: 'Hatred for Trump' blocking research into ivermectin as COVID-19 treatment MORE (R-Ky.), who ran for president in 2016, and first-term Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.).

The top 10 for votes against Biden's Cabinet was rounded out by Sens. Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottDOJ announces agencywide limits on chokeholds and no-knock entries Lobbying world As Biden falters, a two-man race for the 2024 GOP nomination begins to take shape MORE (R-S.C.) and Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnWarren, Daines introduce bill honoring 13 killed in Kabul attack Overnight Hillicon Valley — Scrutiny over Instagram's impact on teens US gymnasts offer scathing assessment of FBI MORE (R-Tenn.), who both voted against 13 of Biden's nominees.

It's hardly the first time senators with presidential aspirations have led the charge against the nominees from a president of an opposite party.

Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandHochul tells Facebook to 'clean up the act' on abortion misinformation after Texas law Democratic senators request probe into Amazon's treatment of pregnant employees The FBI comes up empty-handed in its search for a Jan. 6 plot MORE (D-N.Y.) voted "no" against 20 of then-President TrumpDonald TrumpCapitol fencing starts coming down after 'Justice for J6' rally Netanyahu suggests Biden fell asleep in meeting with Israeli PM Aides try to keep Biden away from unscripted events or long interviews, book claims MORE's Cabinet nominees in early 2017, while Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersManchin suggests pausing talks on .5 trillion package until 2022: report Yarmuth and Clyburn suggest .5T package may be slimmed Sanders calls deadly Afghan drone strike 'unacceptable' MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenThe Trojan Horse of protectionism Federal Reserve officials' stock trading sparks ethics review Manchin keeps Washington guessing on what he wants MORE (D-Mass.) voted "no" 19 times, according to data compiled by The New York Times.

Sens. Cory BookerCory BookerDOJ announces agencywide limits on chokeholds and no-knock entries Fighting poverty, the Biden way Top Senate Democrats urge Biden to take immediate action on home confinement program MORE (D-N.J.), Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleyDemocrats revive filibuster fight over voting rights bill Senate backers of new voting rights bill push for swift passage Stacey Abrams backs Senate Democrats' voting rights compromise MORE (D-Ore.) and Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisRepublicans caught in California's recall trap Harris facilitates coin toss at Howard University football game Far-right rally draws small crowd, large police presence at Capitol MORE (D-Calif.) voted against nominees, according to The Times.

All besides Merkley made White House runs in 2020, with Harris eventually tapped by Biden to be his vice president.

Democratic opposition to Biden's nominees is rare, but not non-existent.

Sanders is the only member of the caucus who has formally voted against one of Biden's picks: Agriculture Secretary Tom VilsackTom VilsackUSDA: Farm-to-school programs help schools serve healthier meals OVERNIGHT MONEY: House poised to pass debt-ceiling bill MORE.

And opposition from Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinManchin suggests pausing talks on .5 trillion package until 2022: report Biden pushes back at Democrats on taxes Yarmuth and Clyburn suggest .5T package may be slimmed MORE (D-W.Va.) helped sink Neera TandenNeera TandenCapito grills EPA nominee on '#ResistCapitalism' tweet Senate backlog of Biden nominees frustrates White House Harris hosts CEOs, executives at White House to discuss affordable childcare MORE's nomination to be the director of the Office of Management and Budget.

GOP Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsWelcome to ground zero of climate chaos A tale of two chambers: Trump's power holds in House, wanes in Senate Bipartisan blip: Infrastructure deal is last of its kind without systemic change MORE (Maine), meanwhile, has voted for all 21 of Biden's Cabinet picks, and Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiEmboldened Trump takes aim at GOP foes The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - DC prepares for Saturday of festivals & Jan. 6 demonstration Republican leaders misjudged Jan. 6 committee MORE (Alaska), who is up for reelection next year, has only voted against one.