Sen. Tom Cotton Threatens to Block Blue State Nominees Because He’s Mad Someone Interrupted Him
Republican Sen. Tom Cotton (Arkansas) is not happy that Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee are moving forward in regards to a Justice Department nominee over GOP objections. He’s in a punitive mood, apparently, and has threatened to stall the nominations of U.S. attorneys from states represented by Democrats on that committee, CNN reports.
Thursday on the Senate floor Cotton declared during the debate on the nomination of Vanita Gupta for Associate Attorney General, that he would “refuse consent or time agreements for the nomination of any U.S. attorney from any state represented by a Democrat on the Judiciary Committee.”
This stubborn move will definitely slow the situation in the Senate and make it more difficult to confirm nominees to U.S. attorney posts. CNN notes these posts are generally non-controversial. But Cotton is quite obviously in a snit that likely stems from a dispute within the committee last month regarding Gupta’s nomination. That resulted in an 11-11 deadlock on a party-line vote.
Democrat Dick Durbin, Judiciary Committee chair, had little patience for Cotton’s ire and cut him off in the middle of speaking out against Gupta’s nomination, and the committee voted on the nomination a bit before noon.
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Cotton and his fellow Republicans were definitely not happy at that point, and they accused Durbin of violating committee rules by attempting to force the vote when he cut Cotton off mid-speech.
“My remarks were interrupted. At least one Republican senator didn’t have an opportunity to speak at all. The Democrats simply broke the rules and voted out Ms. Gupta’s nomination not in accordance with the Judiciary Committee rules,” Cotton said from the floor. “There must be consequences when the Democrats break the rules.”
Democrats, however, say that Republicans were attempting to use a procedural trick to slow down Gupta’s nomination by using the Senate’s “two-hour rule.” That rule would have stopped the committee from holding the vote after 12 p.m. ET.
But Durbin isn’t having any of it.
“I gave Republicans ample time to make their arguments in the committee,” Durbin said on the Senate floor Thursday. “I was prepared to give them even more time until the two-hour rule was invoked. But someone on the other side decided to force my hand. I had to act quickly.”
Committee Democrats slammed Cotton’s attempt to stall the U.S. attorney nominations, noting on Twitter “US Attorneys prosecute terrorists & human traffickers — Cotton wants to obstruct them from protecting our communities & our nation.”
BREAKING: Senator Cotton promises to obstruct every single US Attorney nominee from "any state represented by a Democrat on the Judiciary Committee." US Attorneys prosecute terrorists & human traffickers—Cotton wants to obstruct them from protecting our communities & our nation. pic.twitter.com/2IX79FsKnW
— Senate Judiciary Committee (@JudiciaryDems) April 15, 2021
But these days Republicans rarely seem to care about keeping Americans safe in their own country. They consistently fight against any meaningful gun control legislation, and Cotton is one of six Republican senators who voted against a measure that would protect Asian-Americans from harm from those who still blame them for the pandemic.
During debate on the Senate floor, Republicans complained that Gupta’s views were too radical in regards to decriminalizing drugs, police reform, and Second Amendment rights. Democrats countered that with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer calling their claims “absurd.” It was also pointed out that Gupta has been widely endorsed by numerous police organizations.
Now that the Democrats are in charge in the House and the Senate, perhaps Republicans are feeling a bit persecuted. They failed to stand up to former President Donald Trump, even as he incited a deadly riot, so this is what they get. Americans made their feelings very clear in Trump’s losing the election so if Republicans are being thrown under the bus it’s their own doing.