WASHINGTON (AP) – Joe Biden elected President Cabinet selections quickly run into the political reality of a tightly controlled Senate that depends on rival Republicans for the new democratic administration to do anything.
Under leader Mitch McConnell, Republican senators will force Biden candidates with great force, regardless of which party holds the majority after the post-election election in January. Biden will have little room for maneuver and few votes.
While Biden picked up his economic team On Tuesday, after unveiling his national security team last week, he asked the Senate to review its candidates immediately, saying “they don’t deserve and don’t expect less”.
But that seems unlikely. Republicans are quick to signal their willingness to determine the terms of the debate and give an exact price for their votes. The election of Neiden Tanden, Biden’s chief budget officer, was immediately rejected as “radioactive”. Foreign Minister-designate Antony Blinken quickly met with resistance from GOP senators breaking their record amid their own 2024 white house campaigns.
Even if most Republican senators are still unwilling to publicly acknowledge the defeat of President Donald Trump, new fights will be launched for the Biden era. The GOP is suspended between an outgoing president who needs to stay in close touch – Trump can still make or break a career with a single tweet – and the new one, in which they are unsure how to approach. Nearly a month after the November 3 election, McConnell and Biden have not yet spoken.
“The disagreement, confusion and confusion among Republicans is forcing them to unite in opposition,” Ramesh Ponnuru, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, said in a briefing on Tuesday.
“They don’t necessarily know what they’re serving, but they all agree they don’t like Neera Tanden.”
A new president often gets into trouble with at least a few cabinet or administrative candidates, people who rub the Senate badly and don’t get enough votes to confirm, or are forced to step down after tiring public hearings.
Trump’s candidates met with tremendous resistance from Senate Democrats, who used their minority party status to slowly strengthen lower-level positions as well. The Senate procedural battle has intensified for at least a decade.
But the battles ahead are particularly fierce as Biden tries to get up the administration during the COVID-19 crisis and economic downturn, rebuilding the government after Trump drove many career professionals and appointed untested newcomers.
Senate Democrat leader Chuck Schumer praised the expertise Biden’s election brings to the government. He scoffed at Republicans for complaining about Tanden’s willingness to sharp tweet after Trump tried to ignore four years of endless Twitter barbarism.
“After all that we have experienced over the past four years, I would expect almost all of Biden’s elected president candidates to be widely accepted,” Schumer said of the Senate floor.
Instead, he warned, the “shift is beginning to turn” into the Republican opposition.
To be sure, some key Biden choices will make it easier to confirm. Janet Yellen, who will be the nation’s first female treasury secretary, has made few public complaints from Republicans. Many voted in 2014 to confirm the President of the Federal Reserve.
Democrats face their own battles. Biden faces the daunting task of preventing the party’s centrist and progressive factions from splitting up when he tries to replace his team.
Republicans now have a 50-48 advantage in the Senate, but if Democrats win both Georgian seats in the January 5 election, they would be handed over control as the vice president, who will be Kamala Harris, becomes a draw.
Nomination struggles serve as an early indicator of Republicans ’attitudes toward Biden when they find a political path in the post-Trump environment.
Trump continues to exert great influence on the party as it is facilitated and senators in particular need to keep him close to Georgia’s run-down elections.
The President will visit Georgia on Saturday, where two GOP senators, David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, were unable to clarify the 50% threshold to win re-election in November. Perdue faces Democrat Jon Ossoff and Loeffler face Democrat Raphael Warnock in a state that has turned to Biden.
McConnell said almost nothing about Biden’s candidates or next year’s agenda as he continues to give Trump time and space to challenge election results in low-winning court cases.
Instead, let other Senate Republicans, namely those with White House ambitions, get a name for themselves. GOP Sens. Tom Cotton, Marco Rubio and Josh Hawley, among others, have made sharp complaints about Biden’s selections.
Despite Trump’s defeat, congressional Republicans may have little incentive to work with Biden. They performed better than Trump, retaining many of the seats in Parliament and the Senate from which they lost them. One of the lessons of Republicans in the November election may be that they continue to do what they have so far.
McConnell nodded ahead of the future after GOP senators met for a conference call on Tuesday and were forced to leave their traditional sitting lunch when the COVID-19 crisis ignited and threatened to further disrupt the Capitol.
McConnell talked about completing “this government” and “the new administration” over the next few weeks.