Schumer Floor Remarks Urging Senate To Reject The Nomination Of James Danly To Be a FERC Commissioner

March 12, 2020

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer today spoke on the Senate floor urging his Senate colleagues to reject the nomination of James Danly to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

Today, the Senate will vote on the nomination of James Danly to serve on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Less than a decade out of law school, Mr. Danly lacks the experience of past nominees and it seems his major qualification is his deep ties to the energy industry.

The process behind his nomination has been extremely partisan, unfair to the Senate minority.

I have tried to work with the Republican Leader to pair Mr. Danly’s nomination with a Democratic nominee so both would pass the Senate—that is what we have always done until Leader McConnell started his ways, until President Trump became president.

By law, FERC has seats reserved for both Democrats and Republicans. Democrats sent our recommendation for FERC to the White House over a year ago, long before the administration selected Mr. Danly. But while the White House sent Mr. Danly’s name to the Senate for confirmation, they have held the Democratic nominee and given no reason or explanation why.

Rather than work with my office and the White House to fix this problem, as every other Republican leader has done, and maintain the process of pairing nominees, which has always been the tradition whether Democrats or Republicans were in the majority, Leader McConnell—in his very partisan, very pro-energy-industry way—is moving forward with only the Republican nominee.

Now, Leader McConnell has been in the minority before. He knows that the only way bipartisan boards and commissions across the federal government are filled—fairly, with considerations for both parties—is through cooperation. If the shoe were on the other foot, I’m sure the Republican Leader would be furious with the game the White House is playing with our nominees.

Our preference would have been to clear Mr. Danly alongside our Democratic nominee. But now, for the sake of fairness and parity, I urge my colleagues to vote against his nomination.