Schumer Remarks on the Trump Administration’s Failure to Properly Vet its Nominees

April 24, 2018

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer spoke this afternoon to reporters on the need to carefully scrutinize the Trump administration’s nominees. Below are his remarks:

Now, this week in the Rules Committee, our Republican colleagues are trying to move forward with a partisan proposal to ram through President Trump’s nominees at an even faster rate. This push comes in the midst of yet another example of the Trump administration’s failure to adequately and properly vet their nominees.

Mitch McConnell said it’s the job of the administration to vet the nominees. Well, they’re doing a pretty poor job. And let’s just look at Admiral Jackson. There are already all sorts of allegations about Admiral Jackson, and there’s a lot of discussion that maybe his nomination should be withdrawn.

It’s pretty easy to guess that he wasn’t thoroughly vetted. You might even speculate – I wasn’t there so I don’t know if this is true – that they were in the room together, and President Trump, in his usual quick way, said, “Why don’t you become Secretary of Veterans Affairs,” and off he went.

But this is at once, time and time again, we have seen nominees inadequately vetted. You’ll hear from Senator Murray and Senator Carper about a few of those. So, our Republican colleagues bemoan the pace of the nominations, but we see [with] the administration’s quick, sloppy, vetting process that the Senate[‘s need] to vet nominees is more important than ever before. Just let’s look at the cabinet. It lies in shambles just fifteen months into the Trump presidency.

President Trump is on his second HHS Secretary after his first resigned in disgrace for ethical problems. He’s seeking confirmation of his Secretary of State after he fired the first one. His nominee for Labor Secretary withdrew after troubling ethical issues. His EPA Administrator is under siege for blatant corruption. His nominee for CIA Director faces serious questions from both sides of the aisle about her previous engagement in torture.

And now the second nominee for Veterans Affairs is on the rocks simply because the Trump administration didn’t adequately vet him. The cabinet is turning into a sad game of musical chairs, and the American people are losing out. The administration has repeatedly named nominees and asked questions later. We are proud in our role of thoroughly vetting the nominees, because the administration isn’t. Senator Lankford’s proposal is misguided, it is wrong, it couldn’t be put forward at a worse possible time. This week has shown that the president’s nominees deserve scrutiny, not automatic confirmation.