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Schumer: The Senate Should Hold Hearings on Biden's Nominees 'Immediately After' the Georgia Runoff Elections

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Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is urging the Senate to continue its tradition of holding confirmation hearings on the president-elect’s nominees so that they can receive confirmation votes shortly after the inauguration.

During a speech on the Senate floor on Monday, Schumer said, “Hearings on President-elect [Joe Biden’s] nominees should begin in January immediately after the Georgia runoff elections.”

Georgia voters will go to the polls on Jan. 5, 2021, to vote in two Senate runoff elections that will determine which party controls the upper chamber for at least the next two years.

After the 2020 election, Republicans currently hold 50-seats in the Senate and would need to win just one of the runoff elections to maintain control of the chamber for the first two years of Biden’s time in office.

Schumer reiterated, “The Senate should begin hearings on President-elect nominees in January immediately after the Georgia Senate elections so that key cabinet positions can be confirmed on January, 20 and soon thereafter — which is traditional for a new president.” 

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The Senate has held hearings for cabinet nominees before the inauguration for previous presidents and has voted to confirm nominees on the first day of a president’s administration. 

Schumer argued that Biden’s nominees are more qualified for their positions than the individuals President Donald Trump chose to for various positions that required Senate approval. He claimed that Senate Republicans should not have an issue approving the former vice president’s picks. 

“The American people cannot afford to wait to have its government working at full force to keep them safe, defeat the virus, and get our economy back on track,” he added.

While Schumer said Republicans should not have any issue voting to confirm Biden’s nominees, there may be some roadblocks ahead.

A spokesperson for Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said that Neera Tanden, Biden’s pick to lead the Office of Management and Budget, has “zero chance” of being confirmed by the Senate.

And Cornyn signaled that nominees also might run into difficulties in their nomination process if they do not disclose their connections to financial and consulting firms, as IJR reported.

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