Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding Republicans’ callous stonewalling of President Biden’s uncontroversial nominees, including Dilawar Syed for Deputy Administrator of the Small Business Administration. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
For every executive branch nominee that grabs headlines, there are many more who escape the spotlight while still playing an essential role in our government. Almost always, these nominees proceed through this chamber with bipartisan support.
But today, a handful of extreme Republican Senators are needlessly and callously stonewalling many of President Biden’s uncontroversial nominees.
The case of Dilawar Syed—nominated to be second in charge at the SBA—stands out as particularly egregious. He is an American success story: he came to this country from Pakistan decades ago became a successful entrepreneur, small business owner, and coalition-builder.
His nomination is backed by more than 200 civic, government, higher education and business groups and leaders, including the US Chamber of Commerce, hardly a mouthpiece for the Biden Administration.
And upon his confirmation, Mr. Syed would be the highest-ranking Muslim in government. Highest-ranking Muslim for Senate confirmation.
But for reasons that confound common sense, a handful of Republicans in the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee are not just blocking Mr. Syed’s vote—they are refusing to meet in order to allow his nomination to proceed! I haven’t heard of that in a very long time!
To date, these Republicans who are holding Mr. Syed up have failed to offer a clear reason why they oppose Mr. Syed. Each time they try to come up with an explanation—whether it’s cheap ad hominem attacks or partisan tie-ins to the culture wars—their arguments fall flat.
Why are these Republicans opposing him?
Although Republicans have boycotted his markup several times, they will have a chance to give this man his vote tomorrow. Chairman Cardin has worked with Republicans to try to get them to show up to tomorrow’s markup and I commend Chairman Cardin’s efforts.
Today I ask: will any Republicans have the decency to show up tomorrow to Mr. Syed’s markup and give him a vote? If they want to oppose him, then they are free to go on the record and explain why.
But boycotting his markup, resorting to cheap and offensive attacks, and needlessly blocking a qualified public servant is a shameful, shameful course to take.