Senate Democrats, Ethics Office push back against Donald Trump’s cabinet hearings

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Even as the Senate Republicans attempt to use their majority status to try to quickly ram through all of Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees, pushback is now coming from all sides. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer says his party will stall the hearings as long as it can, in order to provide time for the nominees to be fully vetted by the Office of Government Ethics. And now the Ethics Office itself is directly pushing back against the rushed hearings. This all comes amid widespread public outrage and dissent over the matter.

The Ethics Office is traditionally allowed to vet cabinet nominees and present its findings before Senate confirmation hearings get underway. But because Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees range from objectively unqualified, to financially conflicted, to staunch racists, to Russian puppets, to admitted criminals, the GOP is attempting to rush them through before the Ethics Office can deliver what would presumably be damning findings. However, they may not get away with it.

On Monday the Office of Government Ethics sent a letter to Senate leaders, informing them that Trump’s cabinet picks were in danger of going through hearings with “potentially unknown or unresolved ethics issues” due to the rushed nature of the proposed Republican schedule. Senate Democrats including Schumer and Elizabeth Warren were able to prompt the letter by making an inquiry to begin with, and it’s not the only manner in which they’re fighting back.

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Schumer is also stating that he and the Senate Democrats will use whatever delay tactics possible to stall the hearings for the benefit of the ethics reviews.

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Meanwhile, outraged members of the public have been calling the Senate switchboard at 202-224-3121 and demanding to be put through to the offices of the key Senators on both sides, in order to voice their concerns and displeasure at the Republicans’ attempt at ramming the cabinet nominees through.

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Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report