White House not ‘hiding the ball’ on nominees who failed to clear the Senate

Biden
President Joe Biden walks out to talk with reporters outside of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023, before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn. Biden is heading to Kentucky to visit a notoriously dilapidated bridge connecting Ohio and Kentucky to promote his administration’s infrastructure law. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) Susan Walsh/AP

White House not ‘hiding the ball’ on nominees who failed to clear the Senate

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The White House would not say whether it intends to renominate the full slate of presidential selections who failed to win confirmation during the last Congress, igniting questions over whether the administration plans to abandon the path for a faction of candidates.

On Tuesday, President Joe Biden renominated about two-thirds of the approximately 175 nominees who failed to clear the Senate last year, including former Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, a high-profile pick for U.S. ambassador to India.

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But dozens of nominees for top diplomatic, agency leadership, and national security posts, as well as judicial nominees, have not yet been submitted.

Asked whether Biden intends to renominate every candidate put forth in the last Congress, the president’s press secretary declined to say. Each must be renominated by Biden to be considered in the new Senate.

“I don’t have a specific number,” Karine Jean-Pierre said onboard Air Force One on Wednesday. “I wouldn’t say hiding the ball. We’re just going through … our process.”

Jean-Pierre said there would be more nominations in the coming weeks, reiterating that the White House is “working through that process.”

Garcetti’s nomination stalled in the Senate last year after failing to secure enough Senate votes. A handful of Democratic senators were among the holdouts, refusing to commit to confirming the former Democratic mayor amid allegations that a top aide sexually harassed subordinates.

Jean-Pierre explained Biden’s decision to stand by Garcetti, insisting to reporters Tuesday that he is “well qualified.”

“Our relationship with India is crucial and it’s consequential, so we see this as a very important nomination,” she said, adding that the White House remains “hopeful that the full Senate will confirm him promptly.”

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Biden’s nomination of Gigi Sohn as the fifth commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission was also resubmitted, among others. Senate Republicans have opposed Sohn’s confirmation on the grounds that she is a left-wing ideologue who would favor heavy-handed regulation.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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