President Joe Biden is seven months into his presidency, yet he continues to wait for Senate confirmation of some of his nominees. While the Hill reported that Biden has “dragged his feet” on heads of the FDA and OMB, the biggest and most dangerous roadblock is occurring among State Department nominees, which are some of the most vital nominees President Biden has made. According to USA.gov, the State Department “advises the President and leads the nation in foreign policy issues.” Thus, the role of this department is essential to U.S. relations with other countries, making them an integral part of any presidency. Spearheading this holdup is none other than Ted Cruz.
According to Salon (and others) Cruz is holding President Biden’s nominees as blackmail to get President Biden to rescind his decision suspending sanctions regarding Russia’s Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline and to stop construction altogether. Is this pipeline some threat to the U.S.? No, Salon reported that Cruz fears completion of this pipeline will give Russia “unprecedented economic power” over the U.S. and European allies. President Biden believes that since the pipeline is already substantially complete, it makes more sense to work with Russia to ensure that some nefarious use does not occur. As usual, a Republican holds up the people’s work. If Cruz wants to run the country, he should run for president. That’s right: He did, for all the good it did him. He ended up kissing Donald Trump’s butt after Trump publicly insulted his wife and father. Now, he suddenly wants to make a show of power, but this is not the best use of his power. To make matters worse, he purposely held up these nominations so that they can languish over the break.
President Biden has made 442 nominations, and only 144 have been confirmed the Hill reported. As a result, Biden is behind his last three predecessors in securing confirmations for his nominees. Cruz acts like this is a good thing. A spokesperson for Cruz told the Hill: “Sen. Cruz will use all leverage and prerogatives he has as a U.S. senator to get the Biden administration to follow the law and implement Congressional mandates to sanction and stop completion of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.” Cruz does not care one way or the other about this pipeline. He is merely being an ass, which is the one thing he does best.
While some Democrats agree that the pipeline should not go through, they do not agree with blocking President Biden’s nominees to accomplish that goal. The only Democrat who issued a hold on a Biden nominee was Elizabeth Warren, who held up an Education Department nominee to try to get the Biden Administration to reform student loan programs, which she later relinquished. Look, student loan reform is important, but it is not important enough to hold up confirmations. These holds do nothing more than tie Biden’s hands and prevent him from doing the job for which he was elected. Unless a nominee is blatantly unqualified, senators need to stop holding them up for their own selfish desires.
Shirley is a former entertainment writer and has worked in the legal field for over 25 years